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Sobering up

Losing another Apple Cup has me reflecting on the 2016 Cougars..

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Losing the Apple Cup stinks. There’s no way getting around that.

Yesterday was my final Apple Cup as a student at Washington State and in my tenure here in Pullman the Cougars have gone 0-4 for me. Three of those games were blowouts. The best Apple Cup was my freshman year when Connor Halliday and the Cougs almost beat UW on Montlake but couldn’t do enough to stop Keith Price and Steve Sarkisian. How times have changed.

Yesterday, Jake Browning out-executed Luke Falk. Washington’s defense was heads above Washington State’s defense. Chris Petersen outcoached Mike Leach. It was 45-17 and there was really never a moment that the Cougars felt "in" the game.

It was a swift kick in the gut to end the 2016 regular season, but with a bowl bid looming next week, it’s important to remember where this Cougar team has come in the past several seasons and where they’ll continue to go.

For the second straight season, the Cougars won eight games heading into bowl season. There will always be questions about where this team could be had they beaten Boise State and certainly Eastern Washington. The defense took another step forward and special teams have proved to be dangerous at times this year.

There’s no denying that Washington is a playoff caliber team and should be if they win the Pac-12 title next Saturday in Santa Clara. That being said, with the state of the Pac-12 North, I have a hunch that they’ll be some great Apple Cups in the years to come with similar implications like we saw yesterday.

Congrats to Washington as they simple were the better team, but as always, GO COUGS.

Apple Cup:

Huskies start quickly, thump Cougars in Apple Cup | The Spokesman-Review
Three times during the fourth quarter of Friday’s Apple Cup, officials stopped the game to chide Washington State fans for throwing debris onto the field to show their displeasure with their team’s performance.

What accounts for WSU’s Apple Cup defeat to UW? ‘We’re soft,’ says Gabe Marks | The Seattle Times
Washington State went 3 of 6 on red zone attempts. All three of those should have resulted in points, Gabe Marks said

No. 6 Washington tops No. 23 Washington State 45-17
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Budda Baker was walking to the sideline in the fourth quarter when he was jostled from behind by someone in crimson, who then proceeded to chirp at Washington's standout safety.

Washington Huskies turn attention to Pac-12 title game after rout - Pac-12 Blog- ESPN
A 28-point first quarter allowed Washington to make short work of Washington State in the Apple Cup, advancing the Huskies to the Pac-12 title game.