Saturday, November 26, 2011
2011 Apple Cup preview!
That time of the year again where the two states biggest universities clash as the Washington State Cougars(4-7,2-6) travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies(6-5,4-4) in a battle for states bragging rights the apple cup. Both teams are limping into this contest as the Huskies have lost three games in a row and four of their last five games. While the Cougars have lost seven out of their past eight games and will not be going to a bowl game for the eighth straight season. The Huskies lead the all-time series 66-31-6 and have won the last two meetings. This game will be emotional for the Cougars seniors as this will be their final game they ever get to play in. Due to injury they will be starting Marshall Lobbestael at quarterback who is a senior. For the Huskies they feature plenty of seniors who are departing the program such as Alameda Ta'amu, Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, Erik Folk and Cort Dennison. The Huskies will also see Keith Price start his first career apple cup game. The last quarterback to start his first career apple cup game and earn the victory was Carl Bonnell back in 2006(last time the Cougars didn't have a losing record). This should appears to feature plenty of offense as both offenses are pretty explosive in the passing game.
The Cougars are heading into this game led by their senior backup quarterback Marshall Lobbestael. For the year Lobbestael has completed 59.9% of his passes for 2,240 yards(7.5 YPA) with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Lobbestael this year has a 4-4 record in eight starts this season. For all the complaining about him the Cougars have yet to win a game that he hasn't start this season. His favorite receiver is Marquis Wilson who is having a monster season with 75 receptions for 1,280 yards(17.1 YPC) with 10 touchdowns. Their second leading receiver Isiah Barton who will miss this game has 49 receptions for 638 yards with five touchdowns. The Cougars also have Jared Karstetter who has 51 receptions for 618 yards with five touchdowns. The Cougars running game is pretty weak but they do use three different guys. The first guy is Ricky Galvin who has ran for 586 yards(5.5 YPC) with five rushing touchdowns. Next in line is Carl Winston who has ran for 422 yards(3.6 YPC) with four touchdowns. The third back they use is Logwone Mitz who has rushed for 135 yards(3.8 YPC) with a touchdown. Lobbestael will try to revenge the last time he faced the Huskies which ended with the Huskies winning 30-0 in Steve Sarkisian's first year. For the game Lobbestael was 9-22 for 71 yards passing as he was ineffective all game long. He is now a senior in year four of Paul Wulff's system so he'll have a much better day than he did on that day.
In conclusion, this rivalry has been one sided throughout history. Both programs are vastly different the fact that a 9-39 coach is even considered to be brought back is an embarassment. These teams both feature strong offenses and weak defenses. If you're a casual fan and like to see scoring this is the game as you'll see plenty of playmakers like Polk for the Huskies and Wilson for the Cougars have huge mismatches against the other teams defense. This game will also be played at Century Link Field where the Seahawks play which should add a new wrinkle to this rivalry. This should be a fun game as the Huskies hope to build some momentum heading into their bowl game. For the Cougars they are fighting to save their coaches job.