BY SPNW Staff 05:21PM 11/27/2015

Apple Cup recap: Huskies 45, Cougars 10

In the absence of Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, Washington forced seven turnovers and crushed the Cougars 45-10 Saturday in the 108th Apple Cup at Husky Stadium.

Myles Gaskin (9) and Jake Browning (3) share a moment in Saturday’s Apple Cup win at Husky Stadium./ Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest


It may have been an entirely different story had Luke Falk quarterbacked Washington State in the 108th Apple Cup Saturday at Husky Stadium. But the nation’s leading passer (387.8 yards per game, 36 TDs) couldn’t go due to a concussion, leaving the Cougars’ chances in the hands of redshirt freshman Peyton Bender. He was not up to the task in his first collegiate start (box). Washington overwhelmed Bender by forcing a record seven turnovers and won 45-10, becoming bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive season.

Freshman Myles Gaskin ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns, the Huskies returned two Bender interceptions for TDs and also scored on a fumble return. The Cougars entered the game with 17 turnovers in 11 games and, but seven Saturday tied an Apple Cup record set by the Cougars in 2003. WSU’s seven turnovers, also its most since 2009 against Hawaii, led to 28 UW points.

Washington ended the regular season 6-6 and 4-5 in Pac-12 Conference play. Washington State, bowl eligible for three weeks and ranked 20th in both polls entering the game, finished 8-4, 6-3.

Essential moments

With Washington leading 10-3 and slightly more than a minute to play in the first half, the Huskies faced third and goal at the WSU five-yard line. The Cougars held Gaskin to no gain, but on the play DT Destiny Vaeao slammed UW QB Jake Browning to the ground after the whistle, drawing a personal foul. That gave Washington a first down at the two, and Gaskin ran it for a 17-3 lead.

After Washington State sliced the lead to 24-10 with a Bender-to-Dom Williams TD pass at 4:14 of the third quarter, the Huskies answered with an 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive to extend the lead to 31-10. Gaskin had seven carries for 55 yards on the drive.


Gaskin’s 138 rushing yards increased his season total to 1,121. He is the first true freshman in UW history to top 1,000 yards in a season. His 10 touchdowns are also a freshman record.

Browning completed 14 of 20 for 203 yards with one interception, including five passes for 88 yards to WR Jaydon Mickens. Although Browning did not throw a TD pass and his pick led to a Cougar touchdown, the Huskies got a 26-yard touchdown on a reverse by WR Chico McClatcher, who finished with 40 rushing yards.

Washington gained 443 yards to 319 and dominated the time of possession, 37:28 to 22:32.

Bender, a redshirt freshman from Fort Lauderdale, FL., completed 36 of 58 for 288 yards and one touchdown, a one-yard throw to Williams. Bender picked up a lot of yards, but couldn’t finish drives, his inexperience showing.

Williams caught six passes for 47 yards. He has 30 career TD catches, two shy of Jason Hill’s record. Gabe Marks had seven catches for 58 yards before departing with a gruesome injury to his right leg. Marks has 99 catches, most among Pac-12 receivers.


The Huskies scored on a 69-yard INT return by CB Sidney Jones, a CB Darren Gardenhire 28-yard fumble return and a 27-yard LB Azeem Victor INT return. UW held Washington State to more than 100 yards below its season passing average.


“Our guys just kept chipping away and eventually good things happened. You better not lose when you get seven turnovers. Getting to play another game is important. There was a lot riding on this and our guys were all in. This win means a lot. It’s important that now we go and play well in a bowl game.” — UW head coach Chris Petersen

“I don’t really look at numbers. It’s weird to hear. It kind of snuck up on me. I just go out there and try to win games” — Gaskin, asked to comment on his freshman records.

“We’ve clearly beaten teams that are better than Washington.” — Mike Leach, WSU coach


Washington’s 25-point margin of victory was its largest in the Apple Cup since a 48-point win (51-3) in 2000 . . . The 70-yard interception return for a TD by  Jones in the third quarter was the first such play since Travis Feeney had a 30-yard INT return against Colorado Nov. 1, 2014 . . .The past four times the Cougars entered the Apple Cup ranked in the AP’s Top 25, they lost: 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2015 . . . Washington has won three consecutive Apple Cups, six of the past seven and 13 of the past 18. Washington leads the all-time series 70-32-6, including 38-15 since the rivalry officially became the Apple Cup in 1962 . . . . Washington is 40-15-5 against WSU in Seattle . . . WSU’s 8-4 regular-season record is the school’s best since 2003 (9-3).


The Huskies and Cougars are eligible for bowl games. An early projection is that Washington State will play Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl Dec. 26 in Santa Clara, CA., and that the Huskies will play Duke of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport the same day. The official bowl pairings will be announced Sunday.



  • Eric K

    Leach as classy as always.

    Mike, if the Huskies had played Rutgers and Colorado instead of Boise State and Utah and got Oregon without Adams they’d be 9-3 right now.

    • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

      Not to mention throwing Falk under the bus in his subtle way by revealing that Falk himself decided not to play Today(despite being cleared)~and added no excuses. Seems to me he was full of excuses in suggesting they fell to a lesser opponent today.

      • art thiel

        I like to hear Falk’s version, under oath, but the kid’s been through too much.

    • Mike Barer

      That’s a lot of ifs and maybes.

  • 1coolguy

    Hugh Millen and the coach and the announcer on 950 absolutely ripped Leach after listening to Leach’s pathetic post-game interview. Listening to it I felt so bad for the WSU players as there is no way I’d want to play for such a jerk. I hope the interview is on YouTube or somewhere to listen, as it is remarkably tacky and lacking of any class. If I were the WSU president at the very least I would call Leach into my office and put him in place, with Moos standing in the corner.
    Millen’s line was “Leach can bite my cheek, the one next to my wallet” and I heard at least 10 “axx” comments from the 3 of them. Wow – and they were completely deserved.

    • art thiel

      I’ll have to hear the objective view of the honks.

      • Jeff Shope

        It was friggin awesome Millen was hot :)

    • Mike Barer

      Millen overreacted and took Leach’s comments out of context. What Leach was trying to say was that the players did not play up to their potential. He was also saying the coaches, including himself did a lousy job preparing the team for what is probably the toughest opponent of the season. The fact of the matter is, this year the Cougs did beat some teams with better records than Washington. It’s about the record,. There is a big difference between 8-4 and 6-6 and we, the Cougs can be proud of what we have done this year.

      • srmark

        The records are thrown out when it comes to rivalry games. Dawgs outplayed Cougs .. Cougs were obviously overrated or a bit full of themselves just as their coach.

  • jafabian

    Had to work today, could not find anywhere where I could stream the game online. Pac-12 sucks.

    • art thiel

      You’re not the first to the conclusion.

    • Jeff Shope

      i listened to stream like everygame down here in baton rouge on

  • Jeff Shope

    If the Dawgs come down here to play in shreveport I’m going :)

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