Washington has dominated the Apple Cup, covering the last five meetings. However, those Washington teams were considered good. The Huskies have fallen off in 2019 and have an improbable 3-5 record in the Pac-12, same as the Cougars. The Huskies still opened as -6.5 point home favorites.
It’s been a trying season for both of these schools and Washington may be coming off its worst loss yet, 20-14 at Colorado. Washington State has won its last two, yet can’t really say much because it gave up 53 points in last weekend’s win against Oregon State.
Both of these teams have flaws and it only makes sense to back the underdog because they can at least score. The good news for UW is that Wazzu may have the worst defense in the conference, allowing 467.2 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. They’ve been terrible in almost every matchup, especially on the road.
Of course, the Huskies have managed 33 points in their last two games against maybe the other two worst defenses in the Pac-12 (Colorado, Oregon State). This one at least comes at home so there is hope for Jacob Eason and company.
They’ll likely lean on running backs Salvon Ahmed and Richard Newton given Wazzu’s rush defense. Then again, the same was said last week and they simply couldn’t move the ball, rushing for 32 yards on 1.0 yards per carry against the Buffs.
Otherwise, it’s up to Eason, who has thrown five interceptions in the last three games and hasn’t averaged more than 6.1 yards per attempt in that period. If this offense has similar issues, there’s a good chance Washington State breaks the mold and secures an upset.
That’s because Washington’s defense also isn’t as good as it used to be and that was highlighted by the 207 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry it gave up last week. While this is still a strong defense, it’s not nearly at previous levels.
All signs from 2019 point to Wazzu having success in this game, though it’s hard to ignore prior matchups as it hasn’t topped 17 points in the last six meetings.
Maybe the best unit in this game is Wazzu’s offense because Anthony Gordon has kept up the Air Raid tradition, completing 71.3% of his passes on 8.4 yards per attempt for 4,920 yards, 45 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Running back Max Borghi has a solid 6.7 yards per carry, but it’s not like the offense focuses on the ground game, if at all. While Gordon has moved the ball on most defenses, including a trip to Oregon, the previous matchups between these teams are at least relevant since Washington has handled the Air Raid.
The over has hit in Washington State’s last four games overall, but the under is 5-1-1 in Washington’s last seven Friday games. Once again, the Huskies have covered the last five meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Washington State +7