Although missing two of their top offensive weapons, WR/PR Dante Pettis and RB Lavon Coleman, No. 15 Washington had zero trouble dominating No. 14 Washington State 41-14 Saturday night in the 110th Apple Cup at Husky Stadium (box). UW’s decisive victory denied WSU an opportunity to win the Pac-12 North and play South winner USC in the Pac-12 championship game in Santa Clara, CA., Friday.
With the Cougars (9-3, 6-3) getting crushed by the Huskies for the second consecutive year, Stanford plays the Trojans in Levi’s Stadium. The Cardinal (9-3, 7-2) , which beat Washington at home and lost on the road in Pulllman, defeated Notre Dame 38-20 Saturday.
Washington (10-2, 7-2) lost both Pettis and Coleman in the first quarter with ankle injuries, but turned to RB Myles Gaskin for the majority of the offense. They rode a suffocating defense led by DT Vita Vea that largely rendered inert WSU quarterback Luke Falk, the Pac-12’s career leader in passing yards and TDs, until the game was decided.
UW built a 24-0 halftime lead, extending it to 34-0 at the end of three. After WSU scored early in the fourth, Gaskin tallied for the fourth time. It did not help the Cougars that All-America DL Hercules Mata’afa was tossed in the third quarter for targeting UW quarterback Jake Browning.
Gaskin carried 25 times for 192 yards and scored on runs of 2, 2, 26 and 3 yards. That marked the second four-TD game of his career (also 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl). Gaskin increased his career TD total to 47 and his rushing TD total to 43, both school records. He finished 10 yards shy of his single-game best vs. Colorado earlier this season (Gaskin had 114 yards and two TDs in the first half).
Browning attempted just 17 passes and completed 11 for 93 yards without a touchdown or an interception. His leading receiver: Ty Jones, two receptions for 23 yards.
RB Salvon Ahmed added 82 yards to the rushing total as the Huskies finished with 328 yards on the ground and 421 yards overall against a WSU defense ranked 11th in the nation.
Washington State was held to -24 yards rushing, an Apple Cup record low. The Huskies picked off Falk three times and forced a fumble from him. Ffummoxed for most of the game due to Washington’s pressure, Falk threw for 369 yards and a late touchdown (extending his Pac-12 career record to 119), but was sacked five times and hit 10 other times. In the last two Apple Cups, Falk has thrown six interceptions. In his Apple Cup career, Falk has three TD passes and eight picks.
Falk’s TD was his 30th of the season, sixth-most in school history.
Washington State’s fourth-quarter touchdown run by Jamal Morrow kept the Cougars from their first blanking since a 42-0 loss to Arizona State in 2010.
Washington State was coming off a bye week and faced only a three-man rush, but couldn’t do anything against the UW defense until two meaningless TDs in the fourth quarter.
Washington extended its streak of Apple Cup wins to five and now lead the all-time series 72-32-6. UW is 41-15-5 in Apple Cups played in Seattle and has won 15 of the past 20 renewals overall . . . WSU has not won an Apple Cup in Seattle since 2007 . . . Washington has back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 1990-91 . . . WSU entered the game as the No. 14-ranked team in the nation (Associated Press). The last six times the Cougars were ranked in the Top 25 heading into the Apple Cup, Washington won (2001, 2002, 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017) . . . The Huskies and Cougars have met 110 times since 1900. The only other school to face Washington 110 times: Oregon . . . UW coach Chris Petersen has yet to lose an Apple Cup (4-0) . . . WSU has two nine-win seasons in its past three