Why are the Huskies 10-point favorites in this weekend’s Apple Cup?
The No. 15 Huskies are favored by 10 points over the No. 14 Washington State Cougars in Saturday’s Apple Cup, which, understandably, has Coug fans feeling slighted.
Why the big line for a team ranked below Washington State? After all, the Cougars have beaten ranked opponents this year, have a quarterback who now owns the Pac-12 record for passing yards in Luke Falk, and are fighting for a Pac-12 North title that is out of the Huskies’ grasp this season.
710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard explained the reasoning on Brock and Salk’s Blue 42 segment, noting that there are two reasons for the 10-point line: The Huskies are playing at home, and the history of the matchup favors UW.
“I think folks are going to look at the way the Cougs have played out on the road this season and see some of the struggles that they have had,” Huard said. “The struggle they had obviously at Cal, the struggle down in Arizona where Luke Falk was benched, and even Luke Falk’s performance last time out against a Utah team where he needed seven takeaways by his defense.”
After starting the season with six consecutive wins, Washington State faltered in a disappointing 37-3 loss to California on the road. Two weeks later, the team fell to Arizona in a 58-37 contest that knocked WSU out of a tie for first place in the Pac-12 North.
Huard also cites the history of a Falk-led offense under coach Mike Leach against a Washington defense that ranks as one of the best in college football.
“What it’s looked like the last two, three, four times out – Mike Leach versus Washington has not been a favorable matchup to the Cougs.”
The Huskies have won the last four meetings and hold a 71-32 overall lead in the series. Still, Huard doesn’t think this will be an easy game for Washington and expects it to be closer to a three-point difference.
“That all said, I think that’s an awfully big line.”