Apple Cup Snapshot: Position Matchup

THE QUARTERBACKS will be center stage when the 107th Apple Cup kicks off on Saturday (Fox Sports 1, 7:30 p.m.) but what about the other units? Who has the edge between the Cougars and Huskies -- how do they match up? Here's the snapshot ...

Washington State Cougars
WSU Receivers vs UW Secondary
UW has some talent in place, but they are very inexperienced. They are expected to start two true freshmen, a sophomore, and a recently converted wide receiver. WSU's veteran receiver corps should have them outmatched.

WSU Running Backs vs UW Linebackers
Shaq Thompson and John Timu are very strong playmakers. They match up well against Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks (who practiced on Tuesday) in run or pass defense.

WSU Offensive Line vs UW Defensive Line
Danny Shelton is the most athletic and disruptive d-tackle in the conference and Hau'oli Kikaha leads the nation in sacks. Even if WSU has a healthy Cole Madison (who got some practice work in yesterday), they could be under the gun here. Although it should be noted that WSU -- at times -- was effective and turned away an ASU blitz that numbered as many as eight last week. Bottom line: strong one-on-one play will be needed against the Husky d-line on Saturday.

Washington Huskies
UW Receivers vs WSU Secondary
WSU has one of the more beleaguered secondaries in the conference, but UW's receivers have been extremely ineffective this year. This is a matchup of weakness on weakness.

UW Running Backs vs WSU Linebackers
WSU's linebackers have been somewhat quiet this season, with Jeremiah Allison being the exception while Cyrus Coen has also been effective. UW's ground game isn't dominant but they do break tackles well, and when WSU has had problems against the run, it’s often been due to not wrapping up.

UW Offensive Line vs WSU Defensive Line
WSU's defensive line was a revelation last week, even if it all came for not. Kache Palacio has emerged as a solid pass rusher and Xavier Cooper is stuffing the run well too. You can’t sleep on guys like Daniel Ekuale or Darryl Paulo either. Besides, any team that has Toni Pole (pictured above but who missed last week due to injury) has an edge in the Apple Cup.

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