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Apple Cup set for a Saturday as WSU announces 2022 football schedule

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This seems like a pretty great setup for the Cougars.

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 26: Washington State position Player Name (number) “description of play” “time of game” of the Apple Cup rivalry between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars on November 26, 2021, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

We’ve known the opponents on Washington State’s 2022 football schedule for some time, but now we know the dates, as the Pac-12 released all its schedules on Thursday, and it includes two long-sought-after changes for the Cougars: The team will hit the road at the beginning of Thanksgiving break before returning for a Saturday Apple Cup following the holiday.

The season starts on Labor Day weekend with what should be a warmup against FCS Idaho, but then the competition gets stiff in a hurry as the team travels to Wisconsin for the front end of a home and home with the Badgers. The Cougs last played Wisconsin in 2007, losing 42-21 in Madison in the first game of Bill Doba’s final season.

The Cougs then return home for three straight, starting with wrapping up the nonconference schedule with the Colorado State Rams and their new coach, Jay Norvell. (As far as I know, we have never played the Rams and you can’t convince me otherwise.) Then there are a pair of Pac-12 North battles against Oregon and Cal await — we can guess that one of those probably will end up as Homecoming.

WSU then heads out on the road for a pair — first to Los Angeles, where former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is remaking the USC Trojans, then to Corvallis where newly extended coach Jonathan Smith will try to finally beat WSU — before taking a breather with a late October bye.

The Cougars then alternate home and road contests the rest of the way, (finally) welcoming Utah on Halloween(ish) weekend, then going to Stanford, then hosting Arizona State (love those November games against Arizona schools), then leaving town for Tucson (on the no-student weekend!) before returning for the thought-to-be-extinct Saturday Apple Cup against Washington.

It appears the Utah is a candidate to be moved to Thursday or Friday; both teams have byes the week before, so that would make a lot of sense. Also, the school’s news release includes this disclaimer: “Additional games could be selected by the Pac-12’s television partners and moved to Thursday or Friday,” so let’s just hope they’re not talking about the Apple Cup.

Thoughts?