Apple Cup 2009 preview
WSU is going for a record three in a row in this series and five out of six, both streaks UW wants to stop.
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|WSU stat leaders|
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The line: Huskies by 24 ½
At stake: Nothing tangible other than pride and bragging rights. WSU is going for a record three in a row in this series and five out of six, both streaks UW wants to stop. The Cougars have won two in a row at Husky Stadium. They're also looking to avoid a winless Pac-10 season, which would be the first for the school since 1998.
What to expect: Maybe lots of points, considering these are the two worst defenses in the Pac-10, both in terms of yards allowed and points scored — UW ninth in each category, WSU 10th. Same goes for run defense. But the Huskies have better offensive numbers across the board, so WSU's defense figures to get the more severe test.
Notes: UW leads the all-time series 64-31-6, but WSU has won the last two, including a 16-13 overtime win in Pullman last season. ... UW has not played a home game since Oct. 24, a span of 35 days and the longest in-season stretch without a home game since 1944. ... Huskies RB Chris Polk needs 111 yards to become the first freshman in school history to top the 1,000-yard mark and just the second Husky to do it since 1997.
Injuries: UW — LB E.J. Savannah (hand), WR Tony Chidiac (hamstring) out; WR Jordan Polk (migraines) questionable; TB Chris Polk (shoulder) probable.
WSU — TE Tony Thompson (concussion) out; QB Jeff Tuel (kneecap) doubtful; PK Nick Grasu (quad), CB Brandon Jones (back), G B.J. Guerra (concussion), DB Chima Nwachukwu (ankle), WR Johnny Forzani (concussion) questionable; DT Bernard Wolfgramm (back) probable.
Prediction: No one should ever be surprised by anything that happens in this series. But the Cougars just don't seem to have the horses to beat anyone right now. WASHINGTON 45, WASHINGTON STATE 16.
QB: Jake Locker due for another big game, while WSU is going with backup Kevin Lopina.
RB: Cougs have a good one in Dwight Tardy, but UW's Chris Polk is on his way to a 1,000-yard season.
WR: Maybe WSU's best position, but UW has a strong crew led by sophomores Devin Aguilar and Jermaine Kearse.
OL: Neither team has been great, but the Huskies should be healthy here after a bye week.
DL: WSU has so many injuries, it has been going with a 3-4 front of late.
LB: Donald Butler and Mason Foster having good years for Huskies; Cougs a little undersized.
DB: UW has struggled here all year, but this is an especially injury-ravaged area for the Cougars.
ST: Neither doing much with returns, but UW has edge at kicker with WSU going with backup Patrick Rooney.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times staff reporter