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Moore: This is WSU’s year to knock off Huskies, end Apple Cup skid

WSU QB Gardner Minshew could lead the Cougars to their first Apple Cup win in six years. (AP)

This is the year that WSU will finally beat the Huskies, but I said the same thing last year, and if I’m not mistaken I probably said that in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, too. I don’t think I said it in 2012, and we actually won that year, erasing an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter and prevailing in overtime on Andrew Furney’s field goal.

Apple Cup Story Time: WSU fan Jim Moore, UW fan Danny O’Neil

Maybe I should just shut the heck up so I don’t have to eat my words, but what fun would that be? I miss the days when the players would exchange Apple Cup barbs, but those days are gone. Heaven forbid if anyone gave anyone else so-called extra motivation in a rivalry game.

The Apple Cup is my favorite game of the year. Nothing else comes close. I go into every one of them thinking the Cougs have a shot if this happens and that happens, and if those things don’t happen, I think it will be different the next year, and so on.

But come on, aren’t things different this year? If you didn’t know anything about either team and watched all of their games this season, wouldn’t you think the Cougs are the better team? Look at two of the Huskies’ three losses to Oregon and Cal. The Cougs beat Oregon and Cal.

The Cougs’ only loss was to USC, which looks like a bad loss now with the way the Trojans have hit bottom, but you could easily argue that Washington State probably would have won that game had officials called targeting when USC linebacker Porter Gustin went helmet-to-helmet with Gardner Minshew.

Brock Huard did a better job of breaking it down in his preview story than I will, but let me break it down in a more simplified fashion. The Cougars have the better offense, and if you want, I’ll give the Huskies a slight edge on defense, but don’t discount Washington State on that side of the ball – along with Minshew, the defense has been one of the more surprising developments this year.

If I’m a Husky fan, I’m banking on history playing out again in the Apple Cup. That’s a Husky fan’s biggest hope. Will the Cougs collapse like they always seem to do in this game? If they get ahead, will they find a way to blow it? If they fall behind, will they fall farther and farther behind? Will they turn it over like they so frequently do in the Apple Cup?

Minshew should be the biggest difference from years’ past. He doesn’t know anything about the history of the Apple Cup and what’s happened to the Cougs. He doesn’t appear to have a care in the world – Minshew’s on bonus time and making the most of it.

The weather figures to be a factor, as is so often the case in Pullman for the Apple Cup. It looks like it might rain or might snow, and I’m thinking, let’s go, Mother Nature, bring it on – some of the most memorable games are those that are played in horrendous conditions.

It’s interesting to note that the Cougs are wearing an identical color combination to the uniforms from 1992 in the Snow Bowl when Drew Bledsoe led WSU to a huge upset over the Dawgs.

What a crazy night that was. I won’t get into all of the details about how I was found by a Pullman police officer curled up in a ball in a bathroom stall at the Moscow-Pullman International Airport. He took me to the Quality Inn instead of the station, which was nice, and I flew home from Lewiston the next night because the weather was still that bad in Pullman.

Minus that last part about the airport, I want to see 1992 all over again in the 2018 Apple Cup. And I have every reason to think it’s more of a possibility, even a probability, than a pipe dream this year. Bring on the Utes, then bring on the Crimson Tide.

Prediction: Cougs 31, Dawgs 17.

More Apple Cup coverage on 710Sports.com

Huard: Expect different Apple Cup between No. 7 WSU, No. 16 UW
O’Neil: UW’s Browning doesn’t have anything left to prove in Apple Cup
Heaps’ Apple Cup preview: WSU’s Air Raid vs Huskies’ secondary
Apple Cup Story Time: Ex-UW QB Brock Huard with Tom Wassell
The X-factor in this year’s Apple Cup? WSU QB Gardner Minshew
Only Apple Cup stands in way of No. 7 WSU winning Pac-12 North title
UW QB Jake Browning has chance to cap stellar career in Apple Cup