College Football Pick
This is what it comes down to. The winner of the Apple Cup will advance to the Pac-12 title Game to take on Colorado or USC. Washington is the hands down favorite in the public eye, but it’s not that cut and dry. Washington State, despite last week’s loss, is still a good team. The Huskies are currently -6 point road favorites.
The road is clear for Washington if they want to make the College Football Playoff, at least that’s what it seems like. For starters, they’ll need to win their next two Games, with a rematch against USC a possibility. While that won’t guarantee a spot, it’ll put them in a good position.
Washington State is just happy to be in this spot, to have a chance to win the division. Before last week’s loss at Colorado, the Cougars had won eight straight Games. More notably, they’ve rolled through Pac-12 opponents at home, scoring 125 points against Arizona and Cal in their last two. The Huskies have been good on the road for the most part, but did struggle at Arizona and Utah.
The situation was much different a year ago as Washington won 45-10 at home. With the Cougars having to use a backup quarterback, they never really had a chance to keep up as the Huskies ran for 240 yards in the win.
The difference this year is that LUke Falk is healthy for Wazzu and that could turn the tides. Falk is completing 71.4% of his passes on the season to go with 36 touchdowns and only seven picks. He had one of his worst Games of the season against the Buffaloes, which is of some concern because it was the first time without top receiver River Cracraft. That said, the Cougars still have plenty of options. Falk had 325 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, but that’s not enough when the ground Game fails to produce.
It’s not a stretch to say the Cougars will struggle to run the ball again against this Huskies front. And if that’s the case, it will once again be all on Falk to produce against a good defense. The only way WSU can change the result is if the defense steps up.
They were torched by Colorado QB Sefo Liufau last week and now get the duo of Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin. Browning has seemingly hit a rough patch the last couple Games with Four interceptions total in that period. Still, his overall numbers can’t be ignored of 37 TDs and 7 INTs. And then there’s running back Gaskin, who’s averaging 6.2 yards per carry and ran for 138 yards in this meeting last year.
The Cougars will try and ride the home crowd, as long as they aren’t too hung over from Thanksgiving. The home team has the tools to win, but if the defense gets beat up early, it could be a repeat of last weekend for them.
The Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last five Games overall while the Cougars are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home Games. Wazzu has also covered in six straight following a straight-up loss. Washington is 5-2 ATS in the last seven Apple Cup meetings.
Our Pick – Washington State +6