Cougars vs. Huskies: The predictions vary but the outcome is mostly colored crimson

THE COUGS WERE a seven-point underdog early Thursday, with Las Vegas rattled over the uncertainty surrounding Luke Falk's status. In our pool of celebrity and staff prognosticators, one is in line with Vegas. But the others had a different take on Friday's Apple Cup featuring No. 20 Washington State vs. the 5-6 Huskies.


All-Coast and third-team All-America receiver 1958
It’s been an exciting year for WSU with great team effort.
Washington State 31, UW 28

All-Pac-10 QB, Super Bowl MVP
Peyton Bender plays well and the Cougar defense leads the way!!!
Washington State 31, UW 20

Threw for more yards and TDs than anyone in WSU history from 2004-07
Both defenses play well and force a few turnovers, making this a tight one down the stretch.
Washington State 24, UW 21

1988 Aloha Bowl and 1989 All-Pac-10 offensive lineman
No need for long comments.. Focus in on the nearest purple and gold uniform to strike down "with great vengeance and furious anger."
Washington State 34, UW 30

TSN All-American who finished WSU career as most prolific passer in NCAA history
The Cougar defense will be the difference-maker in this game. They are on a roll and nothing like a great Apple Cup to put a stamp on their turnaround season!
Washington State 31, UW 21

1981 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, nine seasons as WSU coach, 11 as WSU radio color man
Going to be a barn burner without Falk, assuming he doesn't play...
Washington State 27, UW 24

1998 Rose Bowl offensive lineman
With the protection from the O-LINE and the way our defense has been playing, I predict the Cougs will be victorious! GO COUGS!
Washington State 28, UW 14

1981 All-America safety at WSU
I am going with the Cougs in a squeaker, and by the same score as when the 1982 Cougs knocked off the Huskies in Pullman. Peyton Bender gets the start and leads the Cougs to the W, making the civtory taste even sweeter!
Washington State 24, UW 20

Former WSU cheerleader, Scott's wife, Peyton's mom
If the Cougs take care of business by staying focused, everyone doing their jobs and trusting in their teammates to do the same, they'll win!!! 
Washington State 28, UW 27

Sack-master WSU linebacker in late 70s/early 80s
Washington State 28, UW 24

Record-setting Husky QB, brother of Scott
Just cannot predict this one. Too close to call. I do predict this, though:  Peyton Pelluer has a great game.

KJR radio personality
With or without Luke Falk, Cougars prevail. The WSU defense needs to play their best game of the season to win. Great matchup for years to come with so much young talent on both sides.
Washington State 31, UW 27

LEW WRIGHT Senior Correspondent
It will be a game dominated by defensive play with each offense getting torched by a pick six. The 37-yard field goal coverted by Erik Powell at the end of the Cougars' first drive the difference in this Apple Cup.
Washington State 24, UW 21

MATT MOORE Football Analyst
This team has risen to the occasion big time this season, and they get another chance to prove it on Friday,
Washington State 21, UW 20

NICK DASCHEL Social Media Editor
This pick is made assuming it's Peyton Bender at QB. Huskies seem on the verge of a breakout performance, and have one the best defenses the Cougars will face this season.
UW 23, Washington State 20

MATTHEW ZIMMER beat writer
Whether it's Luke Falk or Peyton Bender - it really doesn't matter. The Cougs will keep the Dawgs from their sixth win -- and gain No. 9 of their own in the process.
Washington State 34, UW 21

The Cougars have sustained drives - and produced points - against quality Pac-12 defenses such as UCLA and Stanford, and their defense has improved throughout the season. As long as quarterback Luke Falk is able to play, which is far from a given, I expect WSU to close out yet another conference game with a victory Friday.
Washington State 26, UW 20

First-team all-Pac-10 WSU safety, nine-year NFL pro
Washington State 35, UW 17

JOHN WITTER Managing Editor Emeritus
Gabe Marks & Co. get Peyton Bender settled early with some spectacular catches and runs, and the Coug defense is mostly unmovable.
Washington State 31, UW 17

BRAULIO PEREZ Senior Correspondent
Should Luke Falk suit up, I love the Cougs in this one. But if he sits and Peyton Bender's number is called,  WSU could be in trouble. The second-year freshman has looked good at times, but also tends to make some questionable throws: not good when facing the top defense in the Pac-12. In the end, though, WSU's defense will make the necessary plays to give the Cougs a close W.
Washington State 24, UW 17

GREG WITTER Executive Editor
This is a tough one to figure with the uncertainty around Luke Falk so let's go with Peyton Bender playing within himself while Jeremiah Allison, Darryl Paulo and the rest of the senior defenders bring the heat down on UW QB Jake Browning.
Washington State 28, UW 24

BARRY BOLTON Managing Editor
Assuming Peyton Bender gets the call, WSU seems likely to start slow and play inconsistently in the first half. But Destiny Vaeao, Peyton Pelluer, Shalom Luani, Hercules Mata'afa and their Cougar D teammates will rise up. The second half sees a turnaround that serves as micocosm of the Cougs' 2015 season. By the end, Washington State's offense is firmly in control over a gassed Husky D.
Washington State 34, UW 21

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