Friday’s Apple Cup between UW Huskies, WSU Cougars canceled

Nov 22, 2020, 3:47 PM | Updated: 6:42 pm
Apple Cup...
The Apple Cup has been played every year since 1945. (Getty)

There will be no Apple Cup meeting between the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars on its customary date of the day after Thanksgiving.

UW Huskies jump to huge lead, roll past Arizona 44-27

The Pac-12 announced Sunday afternoon that the rival clash scheduled for next Friday, Nov. 27 at WSU’s Martin Stadium in Pullman has been called off and ruled a no contest. Both schools said in statements that they hope to reschedule the game for later this year, however.

The game has been called off because the Cougars are under the required number of scholarship players available to play due to multiple COVID-19 cases, which also resulted in their scheduled Saturday game against Stanford being canceled and deemed a no contest.

“After assessing the overall status of our football program, we remain under the minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes and cannot forecast a scenario that allows us to reach that threshold by the end of the week,” WSU athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Earlier today I communicated with President Schulz, Commissioner Scott and Washington Director of Athletics Jen Cohen (about) our current situation. While this is another heartbreaking week for our football program, the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches and staff remains our top priority.”

He added: “We will continue to communicate with the Pac-12 Conference and UW if any scenario would emerge that would allow us to reschedule the game at a later point in the season.”

Cohen also released a statement: “This is so disappointing for our players, coaches and staff, as well as Husky Nation as we were all looking forward to the Boeing Apple Cup this week. This is one of the best rivalries in college sports and every year we circle this game at the start of the season. We will work with Pac-12 to prioritize this game and look into any opportunities to play it should there be an open date for both schools down the road. We also understand that the Pac-12, in conjunction with local and state officials, developed policies that placed the health and safety of students, coaches and staff as the top priority. We want to provide an opportunity for our football program to compete this weekend and are working to find another opponent.”

BYU has been a rumored fit for UW to play next weekend in place of the Apple Cup. ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura tweeted Sunday that BYU has “resisted” the idea, and Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reported Sunday evening that BYU had “turned down the opportunity to play Washington.” Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports followed up with a report that suggested the situation is a bit more complicated than that, as UW would have to play an in-conference opponent if a Pac-12 team comes available, and BYU would want a guarantee a game with Washington would occur even if a Pac-12 team was open to play the Huskies.

The cancellation delays the first Apple Cup meeting between the two teams since Jimmy Lake took over as UW head coach and Nick Rolovich began his tenure as WSU head coach.

While the news is shocking, it was hardly a surprise after Chun confirmed Friday that WSU’s football team had nine positive COVID-19 cases with the knowledge that a 14-day period is needed before they could be available to play again due to the Pac-12’s COVID-19 protocols.

The Apple Cup has been played every year since 1945, when two games were held after a hiatus from the series in 1943 and 1944 during World World II.

This is the second canceled game of the season for both UW and WSU. The Huskies were unable to play their scheduled opener against Cal after the Bears program had a positive COVID-19 test in the week leading up to the game.

Washington won a home game at Husky Stadium against Arizona 44-27 on Saturday night to improve to 2-0. Washington State is 1-1 after winning its opener against Oregon State and losing the next week against Oregon.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Latest College Football Insider with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Maura Dooley


Pac-12 changes...
The Associated Press

Pac-12 scraps divisions, alters conference title game requirements

The Pac-12 announced Wednesday that it was scrapping its divisional format for the coming season and changing the title game's structure.
2 days ago
UW Huskies Kyler Gordon... Staff

Where UW Huskies, WSU Cougars landed in 2022 NFL Draft

A total of four UW Huskies and two WSU Cougars were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the picks were across all three days of the annual seven-round event.
20 days ago
WSU UW Huskies Noah Williams...
Brent Stecker

Noah Williams transferring from WSU men’s hoops to UW Huskies

Noah Williams, a 6-foot-5 guard who was third in scoring for the WSU Cougars men's basketball team this season, is heading to Montlake to join the rival UW Huskies.
1 month ago
WSU Kyle Smith...
The Associated Press

WSU Cougars fall 72-56 to Texas A&M in NIT semifinals

Quenton Jackson scored 18 points and Texas A&M advanced to the NIT championship game Tuesday night with a 72-56 rout of WSU.
2 months ago
The Associated Press

Flowers scores 27 to lead WSU past BYU 77-58, to NIT semis

Michael Flowers had 27 points as the WSU Cougars beat the BYU Cougars 77-58 in the quarterfinals of the NIT on Wednesday night.
2 months ago
WSU Michael Flowers...
The Associated Press

Michael Flowers scores 22, WSU beats SMU 75-63 in NIT

Michael Flowers had 22 points to lead the WSU Cougars past SMU 75-63 in Dallas in the second round of NIT play Sunday afternoon.
2 months ago
Friday’s Apple Cup between UW Huskies, WSU Cougars canceled