Celebrity Apple Cup picks

When it comes time for celebrity Apple Cup picks, Cougfan.com turns to celebrities that count: Former Cougar and Husky players that know firsthand what it's like to square off against one another on the gridiron. So without further ado, here are the predictions of our 2001 Cougfan.com Celebrity Apple Cup Panel:

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson, WSU All-American 1978
Cougs 32-20. "If the defense can do the job stopping the run the way they did against UCLA, then it'll come down to a game of pressure --- how much the Cougars can put on Cody Pickett. He's a tough kid, but hurting, and we've got a great secondary. So if the pressure's on him, good things will happen for the Cougs. You definitely don't want the ball in the hands of Paul Arnold and Reggie Williams."

Virgil Jones, UW linebacker 1987-92
Huskies 24-13. "The fate of the Cougars rests on the narrow shoulders of Jason Gesser. Like most Cougar quarterbacks he is out-to-lunch and refuses to slide. Look for the Huskies to knock him back to Hawaii (he'll be singing "Tiny Bubbles" all the way). Matt Kegal will come into the game in the second quarter. Once this happens, it's clear sailing for the Dawgs and a one-way ticket to El Paso for the Cougars."

Brad Gossen, Cougar QB 1989-90
Cougs 28-17. "The UW is a little over-rated. And WSU's defense is excellent -- that's a big advantage for the Cougars. On offense, I don't know if the Cougs will try the Collin Henderson card again, but I see a little gadgetry happening somewhere along the line. The other key will be how well Jason Gesser adapts to that large, hostile crowd. Things tend to move faster, people tend to be a step quicker in this game. It'll be interesting."

Ken Hamer, back-up UW quarterback, 1979-81
Huskies 38-28. "The Huskies will have to put pressure on Gesser. If he has time to sit in the pocket and look at the field, watch out. On the flip side, the Huskies need to run the ball better so Pickett can throw the ball when they want to, not because they have to. If the Huskies can do that we should be in good shape."

Bill Steiger

Bill Steiger, WSU All-American 1956
Cougs 28-14. "The Huskies haven't shown me much so far this season. The Cougars are ailing a bit at linebacker, but the defense is solid -- those DBs are great. I think we can keep Husky scoring down to a reasonable level."

John Husby, WSU All-Conference tackle 1989
Cougs 23-20. "It'll be close. One team will start to wear down near the end of the third quarter. That's when I see this game being won. I really like the way Dave Minnich runs -- he punishes the opposition. If the line can create some small seams for him, I see him being the difference in the game. He can wear out the Husky defense."

Greg Lewis, record-setting UW back 1987-70
Huskies 42-37. "The weather is supposed to nice so I see an aerial assault. I look for Paul Arnold to make some big plays and score a couple of touchdowns. The Huskies will also block a kick in there somewhere. The Cougars will stack the box to take away the run and the Huskies should be able to shut down the Cougar ground game as well. Minnich is good but he can be controlled. This is going to be a passing game."

Steve Pelluer, UW quarterback 1980-83
Huskies 21-20. "The Cougars are tough but the Dawgs have a chance at home, especially if it's a torrential downpour. I see Willie Hurst diving over the line from the 3, landing at the 1 and rolling into the endzone for the winning TD with seconds left on the clock. John Anderson then makes the PAT to win it."

Paul Sorensen

Paul Sorensen, WSU All-American 1981
Cougs 35-24. "Raonall Smith will be all over Jeramy Stevens and the Cougar secondary will challenge the receivers with man-to-man coverage. I see a big pass rush forcing Pickett into some ill-advised throws and Lamont Thompson picking off another one or two. On offense, McElrath will break out of his slump and the Huskies' goal of spoiling our party will be vanquished."

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