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For a moment, the Washington State Cougars had hope in the 2011 Apple Cup. Late in the third quarter, after driving for a touchdown to cut the Washington Huskies' lead to seven, Keith Price appeared to be injured. Nick Montana led the Huskies onto the field following the Cougars' scoring drive as Price was being attended to by trainers on the bench.
With the season Price has been having on the injury front, it shouldn't have been a surprise. The Washington quarterback is playing on two bad legs, two bad ankles, and with all sorts of aches and pains. But trainers were looking at his upper body, specifically his thumb. It was an odd sight all around.
Following the game, we found out what the mysterious ailment that kept Price out for a series in the Apple Cup was. Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian explained:
"The reason he missed the series was because he got a cramp in his thumb, so we've seen it all physically throughout the year, and we're learning how to deal with all that stuff."
Yes, a thumb cramp, something I had no idea was possible. And that thumb cramp nearly swung momentum to the Cougars with the game on the line in the third quarter.
Price would return one series later after apparently ridding himself of the pesky thumb cramp. He was fine, obvious, and we can chalk this one up as the least serious injury the Washington quarterback has suffered this season. In comparison to the rest -- the sprained knees and rolled ankles -- his one-series thumb ailment amounts to a broken nail, and little more.
The final week of the regular season for 2011 college football was a big one for two local teams, as Oregon won the Civil War against Oregon State and Washington captured the Apple Cup with a decisive win over Washington State.
The end result means that both teams are squarely in line for berths into bowl games. Oregon, of course, is headed to the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game, where they will take on the UCLA Bruins. The Ducks are heavily favored in that game and would clinch the Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl berth with a win next Friday.
The Huskies, meanwhile, are likely to benefit from Stanford being the favorites to be the at-large selection to attend the Fiesta Bowl. If that ends up happening, the Huskies would most likely go to the Valero Alamo Bowl on Thursday, December 29 in San Antonio, TX. There is a chance that Stanford would go to the Alamo Bowl, however, leaving the Huskies in line to attend either the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl or the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
To view the full 2011 college football bowl schedule, click here. To see the full college football bowl projections, click here. To keep up with the Oregon Ducks, please visit Addicted to Quack. For news and information on Washington, head over to UW Dawg Pound.
The Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars met on Saturday evening to play the 2011 Apple Cup. Following a close first half, the Huskies were able to open a lead that they would not surrender, en route to a 38-21 victory.
The Huskies held the Cougars scoreless in the fourth quarter while scoring on an early fourth quarter 46 yard Eric Folk field goal and a touchdown run from Chris Polk with 5:23 left in the game. The Huskies seemed to be starting another drive with less than two minutes remaining, but came up short on a third down attempt and chose to challenge the spot. They lost the challenge and punted for a Washington State touchback.
Washington State quarterback Marshall Lobbestael had a good game, but ultimately the Cougars defense was unable to contain the Huskies. Washington had no turnovers in the game and ran the ball for 156 yards, compared to Washington State's 43 rushing yards. Lobbestael finished the game 29-for-42 with 344 passing yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Washington was able to lean on strong performances from running back Polk and quarterback Keith Price as the Huskies finished the regular season with a 7-5 record and a winning 5-4 within their Pac-12 conference. Polk picked up 100 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, with a long of 34. Price finished the game 20-for-28 with 278 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Washington State threatened through the 2011 Apple Cup, but Chris Polk's last run will probably do it as the Huskies hold a 38-21 lead with just over five minutes to go. The touchdown was Polk's second of the day, the first of which came on a pass from Keith Price. Polk carried the Huskies on the drive, ripping off a 33-yard run after a holding call to set the Huskies up on the two.
Polk's been almost missing throughout, with the Huskies electing to ride Price's arm instead of using the ground game. But when Washington needed to chew clock and gain yards, it turned to Polk, and he answered the call.
For a moment, the Huskies were pushed out of field goal range, but Polk got the yardage back and more on his lengthy run down to just about the goalline. Two plays later, he was in the end zone, and the Huskies had a 17-point lead.
With just under five minutes to go now, the Huskies have all but secure a 2011 Apple Cup win, leading the Cougars 38-21.
Suddenly a shootout has turned into a defensive struggle as the Washington State and Washington defenses clamp down, at least for the moment. The Huskies came into the fourth quarter leading by a touchdown, 28-21, and have added a field goal to make it a two-possession game. But Washington had the dagger all lined up, only to see the Washington State defense clamp down.
Nick Folk hit the field goal to push the lead to 10, and the Huskies' defense now has a 10-point cushion to work with. Add in Chris Polk as the clock-chewer and one has to wonder if that field goal puts the Apple Cup out of reach.
Washington State got tricky on its next possession as Marshall Lobbestael took a throwback pass and launched it deep to
Bobby Ratliff Marquess Wilson. Lobbestael, however, had no business making the throw, and toss it right into double-coverage for what turned out to be an interception.
With just under eight minutes to go, the Huskies are up 10 in the Apple Cup, 31-21.
Correction: Lobbestael's pass was intended for Wilson, not Ratliff.
In his first season at the helm, Keith Price has already rewritten the record books. With his last pass, a touchdown to Chris Polk, Price broke the Washington single-season record for touchdown passes in a season. The touchdown, which was his 29th, breaks the mark set by Cody Pickett.
Washington's offense was firing on all cylinders on the drive, taking only three passes to find the end zone. Polk got himself free and found himself manned-up on Alex Hoffman-Ellis, creating a clear mismatch leading to the touchdown.
But Washington State answered, and did so almost immediately. After a quick dig route to Jared Karstetter with a 15-yard roughing penalty tacked on, Marshall Lobbestael found Marquess Wilson on a quick screen and the speedy receiver did the rest. Wilson slipped through a couple tackles, bounded into the end zone and the Cougars cut the Huskies lead to seven again.
With just about four minutes to go in the third, Washington leads Washington State in the Apple Cup, 28-21.
The 2011 Apple Cup between the Washington State Cougars and the Washington Huskies has turned into a close, thrilling game. A late touchdown in the first half has put the Huskies ahead 21-14 entering halftime.
The Huskies controlled the game through the first quarter, holding a 14-0 lead over the Cougars on a blocked punt and a passing touchdown. Washington State came alive midway through the second quarter, however, with Marshall Lobbestael completing two 16 yard touchdown passes, one each to Jared Karstetter and Marquess Wilson, to tie the game at 14-14.
The two teams are both seeing solid performances by their starting quarterbacks so far. Price is 10-for-16 in the first half with 134 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Lobbestael is 14-for-18 with 167 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
And with that, we've got a game on our hands at CenturyLink Field. After the Washington State offense struggled, leading to 14 Washington points, the Cougars finally came alive, driving the length of the field for a touchdown. The score cuts the Huskies lead to seven, 14-7, after it seemed like Washington was ready to run away with things.
Marshall Lobbestael found Jared Karstetter with a pass that was nearly intercepted, one play after a scramble into the end zone was wiped out by penalty. Karstetter flashed open over the middle, and in the end zone, and Lobbestael found him, albeit with a bit of luck.
After a quarter with little offense, WSU seemed to find a rhythm on its last drive as Lobbestael, perhaps, shook a bit of early rust. Whatever the case, the Cougars are back in the game, at least for the moment.
The Washington State offense is stuck in neutral, if not reverse, and the Washington Huskies are taking advantage in the 2011 Apple Cup. After another fruitless possession by the Cougars, albeit with a first down, the Huskies took over with good field position, thanks to a late hit. And Washington made the most of it.
Jesse Callier, who seems to be the man of the day for the Huskies thus far, picked up a nice chunk of yardage out of the wildcat, breaking tackles and setting up Washington deep in WSU territory. After checking at the line of scrimmage, Keith Price lofted a ball over the top of the WSU defense, finding Kasen Williams in one-on-one coverage in the end zone. Williams went up over Nolan Washington, bringing the ball down for a touchdown.
The Huskies now lead the Cougars 14-0 after the first quarter and seem to be in complete control after a blocked punt for a score and Williams' touchdown catch.
What looked like a defensive struggle to open the 2011 Apple Cup quickly turned on special teams, with Washington coming up big on a punt block. The Huskies and Cougars went three and out, with a toss sweep ending in a loss on the Huskies end and penalties doing in Washington State on the other end. And in the end, it was a special teams gaffe that cost Washington State dearly.
After a false start penalty and a fumbled snap leading to intentional ground, Washington State struggled to dig itself out of a hole. After getting back to the line of scrimmage, the Cougars lined up for what seemed like a harmless punt. But not so!
The left side of the Cougars' line collapsed, and Dan Wagner's punt attempt never stood a chance. The deflected punt popped straight up into the air, then fell right into Jesse Callier's hands. He waltzed into the end zone, and the Huskies took a 7-0 lead.
In some ways, Nick Holt may be able to relate to Washington State head coach Paul Wulff. For the last year, we've heard the rumblings, with Wulff sitting on a perpetual hot seat while fighting for his job. And this year, we've seen the same with Holt: the fans are restless and angry, and calls for Holt to be relieved of his duty seem like a weekly occurrence.
Is the Apple Cup the end of the line for Holt? Is he coaching for his job, and does he need a strong performance by the Huskies' defense to stick around? Nobody knows for sure, despite much hemming and hawing from the fans, but it does make for an interesting Apple Cup subplot.
Over at UW Dawg Pound, kirkd offers perspective about Holt and how perceptions of coaches change over time, spurned on by an Oregon State blogger offering to trade defensive coordinators, taking Nick Holt, straight up.
I bring all this up because I think we need to remember that it's hard to judge a coach. What we think we know about a coach can change over 2-3 years. Is it because coaches stagnate? Is it because even really good coaches are not immune from tough times? Is it because most coaches are roughly average, and there are few truly outstanding coaches out there? I tend to think the latter 2 points are true, and point number 1 has some merit as well.
For the moment, Washington fans just don't know. As kirkd mentions, Holt could be sent packing and the Washington defense could improve by leaps and bounds. Or he could be sent packing and the defense could further slip into the abyss. Nobody knows.
Keep an eye on Holt's defense in the Apple Cup and how it handles a Washington State offense that comes into the game battered and bruised, with a backup quarterback whose limitations are well known. How the Huskies perform could decide what comes next for Holt.
It all comes down to this for Paul Wulff. While nobody knows exactly what's going through Washington State athletic director Bill Moos' head, most signs point towards Wulff needing a win or strong showing to keep his job. Just like last year, Wulff's status comes down to the end of the season, and hinges on finishing strong.
There are three distinct camps in the Washington fanbase, and have been forever. There's the camp that's ready to see Wulff go, no matter what happens going forward. On the other side, there's the group firmly entrenched on Wulff's side, ready to stick by him no matter the cost. And there's the middle: a group that's flip-flopped all year and is still unsure of what's next.
The middle is where the large majority of Washington State supporters sit, despite the vocal minorities on the extreme opposite sides of the coin. And so Wulff puts his head down and plods along, continuing on in his rebuilding efforts as the hot seat talk reaches a boiling point.
There's added pressure in this Apple Cup for Wulff and, perhaps, his players. Yes, a bowl game is out of the picture, and the Apple Cup is for nothing more than state pride and bragging rights, but the pressure remains. With Moos expecting to render a decision on Monday or Tuesday, it's clear the Apple Cup is one last chance to make an impression, and perhaps earn at least another year.
The 2011 Apple Cup is here and both programs are expected to have a good majority of their skill players available for the Pac-12 showdown.
Keith Price is listed as probable for the Washington Huskies, which is huge for the team, especially with them struggling down the stretch run of the season. Unfortunately for coach Sarkisian and his defense, the team will be without two members of the secondary (James Sample, Adam Long) and two other members (Garret Gilliland, Will Shamburger) will be game-time decisions.
For yet another week, the Washington State Cougars will be without talented wide receiver Isiah Barton. WSU will need to plan according on offense, though the team did a nice job moving the ball without him last weekend. OT David Gonzales, DE Adam Coerper and CB Daniel Simmons are all questionable for the game.
The final injury report can be found here.
With the 2011 Apple Cup just hours away, it's time to consume all the pregame links one can handle, and we've got plenty. In the run-up to the game, our Washington and Washington State blogs have been busy, putting out loads of excellent stories and analysis. If you missed any of it throughout the week, we've rounded all the Apple Cup links up in once place.
Your mandatory pregame reading is as folllows:
A look at the WSU wide receivers, and which player will step up to replace Isiah Barton.
A feature on WSU offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy.
A look at the matchup problems that come with defending Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
John Berkowitz's prediction for the Apple Cup.
A look at how Washington's loss to Oregon State last week makes the Apple Cup all that much more important.
The honeymoon for the Washington staff is over heading into the Apple Cup.
Apple Cup jokes from the Washington side.
Now you're all ready for the game. Stay tuned to our Apple Cup StoryStream for more throughout the day, leading up to the 4:30 p.m. kickoff at CenturyLink Field.
The 2011 Apple Cup is here. Throw all the records, trends and recent weeks of play out the window; this is a heated rivalry that always has twists and turns with every change of possession.
The Washington Huskies have seen their once-promising season unravel in recent weeks and the team is looking to get back on the right track as they prepare for a bowl bid. The Washington State Cougars have been depleted by injuries all season, but they have played much better in recent weeks and a win over their cross-state rival would be huge for the program going forward.
Start Time: Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. from Washington.
TV Coverage: Versus will air the game live across the country.
Radio: KXLY 920-AM will have the game in the Spokane area, with KJR 950-AM carrying the game across Seattle.
Weather Forecast: Rain showers are expected all day and temperatures will sit in the low-50's throughout the game.
It was never supposed to be like this for Marshall Lobbestael. A college career that's taken more than enough twists and turns -- even just over the course of this past season -- comes to a close on Saturday as the Washington State Cougars travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies in Seattle in the 2011 Apple Cup. Lobbestael will lead the Washington State offense onto the field, but his path to the starting role in the Apple Cup has been an interesting one.
As a redshirt freshman, Lobbestael showed flashes of promise, even winning the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week award against Portland State. But a serious knee injury shortly thereafter left Lobbestael sidelined, setting back his development. He was playing catch-up, unable to fully participate in offseason workouts.
Though Lobbestael began the season competing for the starting quarterback job with Kevin Lopina, both were quickly supplanted by a young and talented true freshman: Jeff Tuel. As Tuel asserted himself and brought excitement to the fanbase, it seemed like Lobbestael's days, beyond mop-up duty, were all but over in Pullman.
And then this season happened. Tuel broke his collarbone five plays into his season, giving Lobbestael an opportunity. He took advantage as the Cougars won their first two games in convincing fashion. Lobbestael provided fans a moment in a win over Colorado as he hit Marquess Wilson for a last-second, game-winning touchdown in Boulder.
Tuel returned, then was injured again, and Lobbestael was thrust back into the starting role, only to lose his job to Connor Halliday, a redshirt freshman with a big arm. The rollercoaster continued after Halliday helped the Cougars to a win over Arizona State, only to suffer a lacerated liver in a loss to Utah this past weekend. And once again the Cougars turn to Lobbestael.
It's kind of fitting the fifth-year senior from Oak Harbor will lead the Cougars on Saturday in the Apple Cup. This year has been about Lobbestael, and the unexpected nature of it all seems to fit his career path.
The Washington Huskies have had one of the nation's most underrated running backs in Chris Polk. He will try to conclude his career in Seattle with his third consecutive Apple Cup victory.
Polk has suffered from mediocre offensive line play throughout his days as a Husky. Even though he generated four to five yards per carry, Washington has not been able to generate as much from Polk as they would have liked because of the genuine struggles to win the battle of the line of scrimmage up front. Polk had 100 yard games most of the season, but only managed a combined 116 yards in two crucial losses to Oregon and USC.
Polk has brought it for the Apple Cup. He rushed for 130 yards in the 2009 demolition of the Washington St. Cougars, then put up a pretty impressive 284 spot in 2010 to help bring UW a crucial win necessary for bowl eligibility. With Keith Price still ginger after injury, Washington might have to turn to Polk to lead them to a rivalry victory.
The 2011 Apple Cup marks the 104th time the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars clash in a battle that divides the state nearly in half. To the east, the Cougars roam, occupying the other side of the mountains from Ellensburgh to Pullman and everywhere in between. To the west, it's Husky territory, with purple and gold dotting Seattle, Bellevue and elsewhere with swaths of crimson mixed in. Offices, households and social circles are divided this time of year, and it all adds up to a great rivalry.
The football may not always be great, but the Apple Cup is always a fun time of year. This time around, the Huskies come in on a winning streak in the rivalry having pulled themselves out of a dark era, even managing a bowl game in 2010.
This year, the Apple Cup moves to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. Husky Stadium, the home of Washington football, is undergoing renovations, forcing the game to be played in downtown Seattle. It should create a raucous environment yet again this year, with fans from both sides making the trek into Seattle.
Here's a look at the series history.
Series record: Washington leads the all-time series, 66-31-6
Last year’s result: Huskies beat the Cougars in Pullman, 35-28
Current streak: Washington has a two-game winning streak.
Longest-ever streak: Washington had two eight-game win-streaks (1959-1966, 1974-1981)
First meeting: November 30, 1900. A barn-burner that ended in a 5-5 tie
Once again this year, the Washington State Cougars head into the Apple Cup with nothing but pride on the line. It's been quite some time since the Cougars and Huskies met in the final game of the year with something on the line for both teams, be it bowl positioning, postseason eligibility or even a Rose Bowl. And while we're miles from another Crapple Cup -- you remember 2008, or have blocked it out of your mind completely -- the 2011 Apple Cup is still a one-sided affair.
Washington already locked up its bowl game, but is still fighting for a better destination on Saturday. Washington State came inches, literally, from keeping its bowl hopes alive and continuing a streak not unlike that of the Huskies last season. The Cougars' bowl hopes were slim, but still alive until Utah beat them in overtime last weekend.
And so it goes. The Apple Cup is the bowl game for the Cougars and state pride is on the line once again. While it would be fun to see an Apple Cup with serious implications yet again, let's be honest: No matter the stakes this is the game of the year in Washington.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times took a look at Washington Huskies quarterback Keith Price and Washington State's quarterback Marshall Lobbestael Friday, breaking down each of their style and play over the time at their respective schools. Just who's got the upper hand when it comes to the signal caller? Let's take a closer look.
Price is only a sophomore who beat out Nick Montana this spring to take up Jake Locker mantle, throwing 21 touchdown passes in the first six games he played. He currently sits at 2334 passing yards and 26 TD's, two shy of the single season school record set by Cody Pickett back in 2002, and will be suiting up this week after sitting out most of the game last week with an injury.
As for the fifth-year senior Lobbestael, his rise to the top came from three separate injuries during the season to the Cougs other two QB's in Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday. Halliday suffered a lacerated liver last week against Utah, while Tuel broke his collarbone early in the season, and later was diagnosed with Acute Compartment Syndrome. Lobbestael has completed 179 of 299 for 2,240 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, and arguably has been the most impressive of the bunch at WSU:
"I think when you look at Washington State this year, arguably the best football they've played this year is with Lobbestael at quarterback," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. "Their schemes aren't going to change; it's the guy throwing the ball ... Marshall has really had a tremendous season."
As for his own quarterback, Sarkisian noted that the time off was helpful for him:
"He really looks good - the bounce and spring in his step," he said. "It's an easy thing to drop back and throw the ball when nobody's around you. It's your ability to make the sudden movements and move when ... a defensive end is up the field rushing. And that was the biggest concern. For the last three days, he's looked really good."
The fact that Price may still be a bit hobbled with his injury and his lack of experience compared to a guy like Lobbestael, a fifth year senior, leads me to believe that the Cougars have the upper hand in this matchup. Price may have better stats but Lobbestael is more consistent. Price is definitely the superior athlete, but may not be able to showcase it they way he usually does with his feet due to his knee injury.
In the long run I'd say Price is overall the better QB, but this week, Lobbestael has a bit of an advantage.
With the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal both aiming and likely to land BCS bowls, the Washington Huskies seemed poised to go to a great bowl game, or at least one of the best alternatives the Pac-12 slate had to offer. But Washington has stumbled to the finish with three losses against tough competition, then had a bad loss to the Oregon St. Beavers.
Washington is still in position to land one of the top bids, but they probably need to right the ship against the Washington St. Cougars to be an attractive team to pick. UW has a large fanbase and a lot of bowls would love to have them, but they aren't playing well which will probably decrease fan interest and ticket sales from the Pac-12 audience.
Considering that the third team behind Oregon and Stanford that's bowl eligible (USC is not) could hold a 6-6/7-5 record, Washington finishing with a 7-5 season might be enough to earn that big bid to either the Alamo in San Antonio or the Holiday in San Diego. But a loss could place them at the mercy of the bowl selection process, which can be rather arbitrary.
The Washington St. Cougars have been playing better this year. But at 4-7 and 2-6 in the Pac-12 they are doomed to finish out of the bowl running for the fourth straight season of the Paul Wulff era. So there is definite speculation that Wulff won't be returning next year to try and take Washington State the next step to bowl eligibility and maybe competing with the best of the conference.
Wulff doesn't seem too concerned. Dave Mahler of 950 KJR Radio had this report.
It is true Washington State does look better every year. From a 2-11 team that had only one FBS win against winless Washington, to a 1-11 team that was shut out in Pac-12 play, to a 2-10 team that was functionally better but still unable to win, to a sub-mediocre squad this year, the Cougars do seem to be back on the winning track.
Whether it's fast enough for Washington State fans is another matter altogether. A win in the Apple Cup might go a long way to assuaging such fears.
For more on Cougars football, turn to CougCenter.
And with good reason.
As Condotta points out, the Huskies began their season giving up an easy, early touchdown to Eastern Washington, and finished the game last week against Oregon State with a 99-yard Beaver drive that led to an eventual loss. In between have been a lot of question marks and head scratching, echoed by head coach Steve Sarkisian's comments about their defense against OSU last week:
"Frustrating," he said. "Frustrating. Numerous missed tackles and the inability to get off the field on third down was extremely, extremely frustrating."
Through 11 games this season the Huskies are allowing 34.5 points a game, the second-highest in school history behind the 0-12 2008 team (38.5 a game), the season that ended Tyrone Willingham tenure at UW. They also allow a whopping 430.4 yards per game, third-most in school history behind 2008 (451.8) and 2007 (446.4), as well on being on pace to set a new record in passing yards allowed a game, currently averaging 278.3 a game (the record is 275.7 in 2005).
Just where did it all go wrong? Sark pointed to unfortunate injuries and lots of youth as possible issues, though never pointed a finger on his weekly radio show:
"In spots right now we are playing with some young, talented guys who just aren't there yet," he said. "I think in two or three years they will be there, but it's a transformation of a program."
UW has also lost five of their 11 defensive starters to injury at some point during the season, as well as losing one for the entire season, though Sark is putting the pressure on himself and his coaching staff to get better:
"They [the players] are fighting the fight and they will get better and I'm not as concerned about that - we're getting better," he said. "We have the answers in place right now, we've just got to continue to coach it so that our kids are in a great position to be successful."
The Apple Cup is one of the most historic rivalry games on the west coast and a win would be huge for both programs. The Washington Huskies come in as a team struggling to find consistency after a strong start to the season, while the Washington State Cougars are looking to end their season on a positive note after a heartbreaking loss last weekend.
According to Odds Shark, the Huskies will be favored by 9 and 1/2 points on Saturday afternoon. In addition to the listings from Las Vegas, various gambling websites such as 5dimes.com has UW favored by only 6 and 1/2 points. This is quite a change in spread, especially with rivalry games tending to be closely contested throughout.
With quarterback Keith Price returning to action this weekend, one has to like the Huskies chances in the game. Washington is a completely different team when he is under-center and calling the shots. Washington State has proven to be a tough opponent late in the season, though, and can pull the upset victory if senior Marshall Lobbestael has a big performance in the final game of his career.
Saturday's Apple Cup will feature the Washington Huskies and Washington St. Cougars in a state rivalry game that will have have players, students and alumni on both sides fired up. Beyond this, the game will also feature two interesting subplots involving starting quarterbacks Keith Price and Marshall Lobbestael.
On Saturday, Price will have the opportunity to break the Husky touchdown passing record set by Cody Pickett at 28 back in 2001. Price currently has 26 touchdowns on the season and needs only three more to set the new school record. He has cooled off since a sizzling early-season stretch that saw him toss 21 touchdowns through Washington's first six games, but Price could replicate his early season three- or four-touchdown performances in this wild rivalry game and emerge as a new record holder.
Lobbestael, meanwhile, will play his final regular season game with the Cougars as a senior. The last time Lobbestael saw the field, he proceeded to get benched early on in WSU's game against the Arizona St. Sun Devils. Freshman Connor Halliday took over at quarterback and threw for an impressive 494 yards and four touchdowns. Saturday's game gives Lobbestael a chance to rewrite the final chapter of his Cougar career and end it on a positive note.
Freshman Washington Huskies running back Bishop Sankey could have been playing Saturday's game wearing crimson and gray if he had followed through with his promise made in December 2009 during his junior year of high school.
The four-star blue chip recruit changed his mind this past January and committed to Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies. Sankey made his decision to attend UW after an official visit hosted by Jesse Callier and Chris Polk. Was it dirty for Sarkisian to continue recruiting Sankey even though he had made a commitment to the Cougars?
"In this day and age, guys are still recruiting our players," he said, "so you have to be prepared for it. If you don't, and another school takes a running back of yours two weeks before signing date, and you don't have another one there, you end up signing no running backs," said Coach Steve Sarkisian (Via: Kitsap Sun)
There is a chance Sankey could draw some boos from Cougar fans this Saturday at the Apple Cup when he makes an appearance. Jim Moore, a former columnist at the Seattle PI and current ESPN 710 analyst called Sankey a traitor after his change-of-heart back in February:
But when a kid like Sankey says he's going to WSU and changes his mind? And not only changes his mind, but decides to hook up with our biggest rival? Well, friends, that's when the gloves come off. (Via: Seattle PI)
Sankey is currently third on the Huskies depth chart at the running back position, but has appeared in the team's last eight games. He has gained 187 yards on 28 carries with one touchdown. If Sankey lives up to his potential, he will continue to be a sore subject for Cougar fans during the Apple Cup in the upcoming years.
Washington St. Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday suffered a lacerated liver during Saturday's 30-27 overtime loss to the Utah Utes and was placed in the Intensive Care Unit at a Pullman hospital afterwards. The team announced on Monday that Halliday has been released from the ICU but will stay at the hospital overnight.
Halliday will not be able to participate in Saturday's Apple Cup against the Washington Huskies, but his release from the ICU is welcome news. The young freshman handled quarterback duties for two straight games and posted respectable totals of 784 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Washington State reported that Halliday remains in stable condition following Saturday's injury. The Cougars play rival Washington this weekend and look to avenge last season's 35-28 loss to the Huskies. The Apple Bowl will be held at Washington this year, where the Cougars and Huskies have split the last two meetings.
For more on the Washington State Cougars, visit CougCenter.
Keith Price should be back when the Washington Huskies look to win their third straight Apple Cup in a row against the Washington State Cougars.
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