The No. 5 Washington Huskies walked into Martin Stadium with the Pac-12 title on the line and did what they usually do: Act like they owned the place by soundly beating No. 23 Washington State, 45-17.
The Cougars finish the regular season 8-4 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-12 — a one-game improvement in the standings over 2015, but the same record with which they finished a year ago.
In what was billed as the most significant Apple Cup in decades, only one team bothered to show up and play like it, as the Huskies raced out to a 28-3 lead in the first quarter to more or less end the game before some people had even reached their seats.
At that point, UW was averaging more than 11 yards per play and on pace for more than 1,100 yards.
The Cougs did try to put up a little bit of a fight — they closed to 28-10 in the second quarter after converting a John Ross fumble deep in UW territory into a TD — but Washington came right back with another touchdown and that was pretty much that, especially after WSU’s half ended with Luke Falk floating a duck into triple coverage in the end zone from inside the UW 10.
If you wanted to be charitable, you could even say that WSU tried to make it interesting in the third quarter, in which the Cougars outgained the Huskies 160-13. But the Cougars could only put seven points on the board after Washington stopped them at the 1-yard-line on 4th-and-goal at the end of the quarter — the second such time the Huskies had done so in the game.
On six red zone opportunities, WSU came away with just two touchdowns and a field goal.
Falk had another poor game, completing just 33-of-50 for 269 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. It was just the second time in his career — and first time since his second start as a freshman — that Falk threw more interceptions than touchdowns in a game.
Gabe Marks did everything he could, catching 11 balls for 112 yards and a touchdown.
In five Apple Cups, Mike Leach has now been outscored 176-88. In three Apple Cups against Chris Peterson, Leach has been outscored 121-40. WSU has turned the ball over 11 times in the last two Apple Cups.
Washington heads to the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday. WSU, which will surely be unranked after this evisceration, awaits its bowl fate, which has taken quite the hit over the last two weeks.