Huskies romp over No. 20 Cougs, 45-10, in Apple Cup
SEATTLE (AP) — The 20th-ranked Washington State Cougars committed seven turnovers for the first time since 2009, and watched Sidney Jones, Darren Gardenhire and Azeem Victor take three of them back for touchdowns as Washington rolled to a 45-10 win in the Apple Cup on Friday.
Freshman Peyton Bender made the first start of his college career. He threw two interceptions, the Cougars fumbled the ball five times and Washington gladly turned the most anticipated Apple Cup in more than a decade into a laugher.
Bender started because QB Luke Falk did not dress. The standout sophomore that had an outside shot at setting a handful of Pac-12 records was a spectator on the Cougars sideline in sweats a week after getting carted off the field on a backboard with an apparent concussion.
The last three times Washington State has been ranked coming into the Apple Cup, the Huskies have come away as the victors.
“For whatever reason, our guys played wide-eyed,” Cougs coach Mike Leach said. “We’ve clearly beaten teams that are considerably better than Washington this year.”
The Cougars also missed a chance to keep their rivals home for the postseason, or at least add the asterisk of Washington getting to a bowl game with a losing record. The Huskies were in line to possibly get a bid with a 5-7 record, but now are assured of a bowl berth along with the Cougars.
Bender finished 36 of 58 for 288 yards and a 1-yard TD pass to Dom Williams in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 24-10.
The Cougars also couldn’t slow down Washington freshman Myles Gaskin in the second half. Gaskin was held to 29 yards in the first half but rushed for 109 yards in the second half and the second of his two touchdowns.