Pac-12 North at stake as No. 7 Wazzu hosts No. 16 Washington
No. 16 Washington (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12, No. 16 CFP) at No. 7 Washington State (10-1, 7-1, No. 8 CFP), Friday, 8:30 p.m. EST (FOX)
Line: Washington State by 3.
Series record: Washington leads 72-32-6.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Pac-12 North Division title and a spot in the conference title game against Utah is at stake in the 111th meeting between the Huskies and Cougars. It’s the second time in three seasons the Apple Cup decides the North Division champ. Washington has won five straight over its rivals and the last three have not been close with the Huskies outscoring the Cougars 131-41. But it’s been a magical season on the Palouse led by QB Gardner Minshew, the national leader in passing, and coming off a record-setting seven-touchdown performance last week against Arizona.
Washington State’s pass game vs. Washington’s secondary. Since coach Chris Petersen has arrived at Washington he’s found the recipe for slowing down Washington State’s Air Raid offense. The Cougars have not scored more than 20 points against the Huskies since a 31-28 overtime win in 2012, largely because Washington has shut down the passing game. Minshew is averaging 393.2 yards per game, but will face his biggest defensive test of the season as the Huskies are allowing 192.8 yards per game through the air.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington: RB Myles Gaskin. The senior needs 94 yards rushing to become the first player in Pac-12 history with four 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his career.
Washington State: RBs James Williams and Max Borghi. Washington State’s run game is having some of its best success since Leach’s arrival, but Williams and Borghi’s true danger is as receivers out of the backfield. Williams has a team-high 69 receptions for 530 yards, while Borghi has another 40 catches for 303 yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
Third straight year and eighth time all-time both teams are ranked in The AP Top 25. ... Washington State enters as the favorite for the first time since 2006. ... Washington LB Ben Burr-Kirven second in the country with 145 total tackles. Most by Washington player since Mason Foster’s 163 in 2010. ... Washington State has allowed nine sacks in 11 games tied for seventh fewest in the country. They have attempted 593 passes, most in the country.
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