Apple Cup stakes have rarely been this high

Washington State running back James Williams left is pulled down after a short gain by Colorado linebacker Rick Gamboa right as defensive back Tedric Thompson covers in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Nov. 19 2016 in Boulde

Colorado knocked off Washington State 38-24 in Boulder, and USC throttled UCLA 36-14. While Leach's system allows for quarterbacks and receivers to post huge totals, Falk is more than a product of a system. Others were recruits from out-of-state that Petersen and his staff convinced to make Washington their home, like quarterback Jake Browning. But it's really hard for me to say, like, 'OK, now we're really all in on this.' I just think they've really been invested this whole year, every game, and I think that's what you've kind of seen. There's reason to believe that ultra-focused UW coach Chris Petersen and WSU coach Mike Leach, a unusual dude and mastermind of the Air Raid offense, have strong enough programs where they should challenge for Pac-12 superiority on a regular basis. "It was cool. I appreciated the cheers from the fans and everything and the acknowledgement for it".

In the third overtime period, Washington State quarterback Matt Kegel had a screen pass batted down, the referees ruled it to be a fumbled lateral recovered by Washington, and the Huskies won 29-26, ending the Cougars' hopes of a Rose Bowl.

Washington State may have lost last week at Colorado but they have been solid all season long.

The annual Apple Cup rivalry between Washington and Washington State has extra implications this year, as the victor of Friday's game will clinch the Pac-12 North title and earn a trip to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. for the conference title game on December 2.

"I'm good right now", McClatcher said after the game, when asked about his knee. I think he's getting back and he's such a unique guy for us, a unique weapon because of the versatility. Falk didn't play due to injury in last year's matchup, so there's an extra source of motivation for the junior quarterback. When they do move the rock via the ground, they look to three tail backs to get the job accomplished. He was 9 years old when his father was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 2004. Washington State owns the edge on offense, but Washington owns the edge on defense. That's obviously easier said than done, especially this year when the Cougars sport a formidable offensive line. "I committed before I even took a visit". There's no shame for Wazzu in losing to Colorado, much as there's no shame in losing at Boise State, a team which is one win away from finishing its season at 11-1 (unless it gets to play a 13th game by way of a Wyoming loss to New Mexico). "He is a great representative". Jamal Morrow caught two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown as well. Petersen said the decision was a bit of a surprise.

The key difference between that season and this one is that in 2002, Washington went 6-6 and only got the joy of spoiling Washington State's dreams out of the victory. He was an All-Pac-12 selection. It was his fourth game eclipsing the century mark this season.

Luke Falk/Jake Browning: Can the Cougars protect quarterback Falk?

"Everything is going according to plan", Marks said. Inside the same state, they are inverse counterparts that have attracted a mutual appreciation for what the other is accomplishing.

"People can't drop eight back on us now", Falk said. "(Because) I hate to drive because I want to look out the window, I want to talk, I want to read a book and I don't get auto sick", Leach said.

Recent history indicates the Cardinal are in pretty good shape to finish the regular season with nine wins.

This rivalry weekend several of college football's most-celebrated and tradition-rich series also have major implications in conference championship races and the College Football Playoff.

"It's about just winning games now", Marks said.

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