This past Saturday the Washington Huskies (7-5,5-4) defeated the Washington State Cougars (4-8,2-6) for the third straight season in the Apple Cup. Like the last two meetings in Seattle I was in attendance this game and I’ll share my five observations that I took from this game.
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 26, 2011
Where: Century Link Field, Seattle, Washington
Don’t worry I’ll try to keep Paul Wulff out of it since he has been in the news lately as this was his last game as Cougars head coach (finished 9-40,4-32 in conference).
5. The Huskies were more pumped up for this game than the Cougars:
This was weird for me as the apple cup is typically a scrimmage to the Huskies while this is the Super Bowl for the Cougars it was the Huskies who were jacked up. In pregame it was the Huskies who were huddling up jumping up and down.
While the Cougars sideline was pretty dead.
It was as if they knew they weren’t going to win. I remember after the Huskies running onto the field a group of Husky defenders standing in a circle as Alameda Ta’amu screaming at them to get fired up. Ta’amu anchored a defensive line that recorded a season high seven sacks.
4. Keith Price is miles ahead of where any UW fan thought he’d be:
Keith Price was the star in his first career apple cup game. Price was 21-29 passing for 291 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cougars came into this game determined to shut down Chris Polk and for the first three quarters they did that (only 48 yards rushing, he would later gain 52 in the fourth).
So Price sliced and diced up the Cougars defense making their fans regret trashing on him all offseason.
3. Recruiting stars do matter:
For whatever the reason all year long Cougar fans kept telling me recruiting stars don’t matter.
Well look at who the Huskies play makers were in this apple cup win. You had Chris Polk (4 star), Kasen Williams (5 star), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (4 star), Jermaine Kearse (4 star), Jesse Callier (3 star), Keith Price (3 star) , Sean Parker (4 star), Josh Shirley (4 star), Desmond Trufant (3 star) and Alameda Ta’amu (4 star) all have huge games.
So please spare me this nonsense that recruiting stars don’t matter when they cleary do.
2. Huskies have more guys playing on Sunday’s than the Cougars:
Coug fans can blame injuries, blame the play calling or blame Wulff for this loss all they want. The facts are they don’t have enough NFL players.
The one guy who is an NFL player in Marques Wilson had over 100 yards receiving with two touchdowns.
The Huskies true freshman Kasen Williams made a name for himself this game with five receptions for 74 yards with two touchdowns.
While Chris Polk was shut down most of the game still ended up with 100 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown. He contributed with 36 yards receiving with a receiving touchdown as well. On the defensive side of the ball Ta’amu provided two sacks while holding the Cougars rushing attack to less than 2.0 YPC as they ran 29 times for just 38 yards.
The play of the game was made by Trufant who batted a double pass right to Sean Parker. At the end of the day talent wins.
1. Century Link sucks for hosting college games:
When the Seahawks played at Husky Stadium I never could understand how Husky Stadium a naturally loud stadium with a loud fan base like the Seahawks can produce such dead games.
Well here we go again the Apple Cup with a loud stadium (Century Link) was a pretty dead atmosphere.
If this is how it’s going to be all of 2012 I don’t know if I”ll attend a game next year.
The Husky Stadium Syren was repulicated and sounded horrible. There was no vision of the players walking in the tunnel like the big screen has at Husky Stadium either.
I also didn’t like how the opposing fans are stuck up in the 300 level makes for smack talking to be pretty difficult.
Those are my five of many observations at the Apple Cup. I’m just glad my Huskies won and we are heading to another bowl game.
Meanwhile my rivals to the east will be staying home for the holidays for the eighth straight season!