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Apple Cup 2015: Giving thanks and linking stories

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It's Apple Cup Eve. Come read about who thinks which team will win.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good day, Coug fans. Since you're probably doing things like vacuuming the house, watching football, dreading the arrival of that weird cousin you see once per year, or myriad other things, we'll keep this post short and hopefully sweet. Oh, and so far today I've consumed a Bloody Mary and a bomber of Cigar City Raspberry Grove American Sour Ale. Here's to family!

The Cougars are set to take on Washington in the Apple Cup Friday, and there are predictions abound. There seems to be a genuine 50/50 split among the punditry. That is a credit to what WSU has done this season, as they will, in all likelihood, be starting backup quarterback Peyton Bender in Husky Stadium. I'd say it's a tough environment for a freshman QB to be making his first start, but UW hasn't sold out a game this season, and there will be plenty of Cougar fans in the crowd.

In case you were wondering why football is on in the middle of the day, today is Thanksgiving. Most of us have a lot to be thankful for, and I am no different. In the context of this website, I think I speak for all of the writers when I say that we are immensely thankful for all of you who read our content and take part in the discussion. Without you, this endeavor would not be nearly as rewarding or fun.

So here's to you, the loyal reader, and here's to an Apple Cup victory and a 9-3 season. Happy Thanksgiving, and Go Cougs.

Football

Top 10 Apple Cup games of all time
Fitting that the 1991 game leads off, as most UW fans are perpetually stuck in that season.

2015 Apple Cup might be the start of something big for UW Huskies, WSU Cougars | The Seattle Times
Even in this week of sanctioned discord between cats and dogs, I believe we can all come together and agree upon one thing. Namely, that the Apple Cup is a much better entity when both schools, the felines of Washington State and the canines of Washington, are sleek, powerful and successful.

Why WSU QB Peyton Bender is a more than capable backup for the Cougars | The Seattle Times
Peyton grew up in Georgia but played his prep football at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He’s a natural athlete who played basketball, baseball and football as a kid, and Mike thinks his son might actually have been better at baseball than football because of his accuracy and his “cannon for an arm.”

Gabe Marks’ energy, talent ignites Cougars - Spokesman.com - Nov. 25, 2015
“I was working on myself a lot last year, as a person,” Marks said. “It was great. I think if you have the ability to come in and play right away then that’s something you should do, you should want to help the team and make an impact immediately. But I think for your life, every kid should have that year to really just be a college kid."

John Blanchette: Cougars’ wisest strategy would be to protect Luke Falk’s health - Spokesman.com - Nov. 25, 2015
But what’s the win here, really, even if Falk plays, stays upright and leads the Cougars to a decisive victory? A “better” bowl game? If he gets his helmeted noggin spiked off the turf for a third straight game, and is again wheeled off, that’s going to be a bad look for Washington State no matter how many concussion tests the medical staff administered this week.

Pac-12 Week 13 game picks: USC, UCLA play for the Pac-12 South
Three of five pick the Cougs.

Washington State vs. Washington Game Preview, Prediction | College Football News
The Washington Huskies (5-6) must defeat the Washington State Cougars (8-3) in this year’s Apple Cup to become bowl eligible. Check out the Washington State vs. Washington prediction and game preview.

Volleyball

Four Cougs Named to Pac-12 All-Academic Teams - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State sophomore Casey Schoenlein was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Women’s Volleyball First Team, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced Wednesday. Three additional Cougars were selected to the honorable mention team.