Early in the fourth quarter any doubt whether Washington would retain the Apple Cup was gone. The question was if Mike Leach was about to be shut out for the first time in his coaching career.
That’s how dominant the Huskies were, turning a chilly night on the Palouse into an impressive 31-13 romp over Washington State to cap Chris Petersen’s first regular season at Washington with his 100th career victory.
Dwayne Washington rushed for 135 yards and touchdown runs of 51 and 60 yards for the Huskies, his third straight game reaching the 100-yard mark. But his big game was secondary to the performance by the Huskies defense.
”The mindset and energy, they were all together,” Petersen said. ”This game was very important to all those guys in there and they came out ready to play.”
The Huskies (8-5, 4-5 Pac-12) erased the sour memories of their trip to Pullman two years ago when Washington State rallied from 18 points down in the fourth quarter for an overtime victory.
Instead the Huskies made the night miserable for Washington State quarterback Luke Falk and Leach’s dynamic offense that was left lamenting missed opportunities in the first quarter. The Huskies were on the verge of shutting out Washington State in Pullman for the first time since 1935 before Falk found Dom Williams on a 35-yard touchdown with 9:55 left.
The 107th meeting between the rivals was the coldest on record with a temperature of 19 degrees for the 7:30 p.m. PST kickoff. And nothing came easy for Washington State’s passing game that had been so potent all season.
Falk threw two interceptions and Vince Mayle had a costly fumble late in the second quarter. The Cougars (3-9, 2-7) were shut out in the first half for the first time in 26 games.
”It was crazy. We had to have fun and get hyper to keep warm. It was a lot of fun,” Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton said.
Washington – the emerging sophomore running back – continued his late season touchdown binge. Washington had touchdown runs of 68 yards against Oregon State and 66 yards against Arizona and closed the season with six touchdowns rushing in his final four games.
Washington’s two long TD runs both came on the Huskies second offensive play of each half. The Huskies had eight offensive touchdowns of 35 or more yards in their final three games.
”It’s been a mindset with Dwayne the last couple of weeks. … I could just see it,” Washington QB Cyler Miles said. ”Dwayne has been improving off the field and on. It’s not really a surprise for me at all.”
The Huskies romp snapped a string of close contests played on the Cougars home field. The previous six Apple Cup’s played in Pullman had been decided by seven points or less.
Miles was 25 of 39 passing for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He found Kasen Williams on a 6-yard TD reception late in the second quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead and added an 18-yard TD pass to Joshua Perkins early in the fourth quarter. Williams’ TD was just his second since the 2013 season opener and came in his final regular season game for the Huskies