Celebrity Predictions

WHEN IT COMES time for celebrity Apple Cup picks, Cougfan.com turns to celebrities that count: Former Cougar and Husky players -- and one witty scribe -- who 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 2002 CF.C Celebrity Apple Cup Panel:

Buster Hollingbery, Cougar LB (and Babe's son), 1940-42
I'm real nervous. This could go either way. And in this game, all the ratings and statistics go out the window. I hope the game is clean, hard fought and a win for the Cougars. If they play up to their capabilities they'll win, but it'll be close. Cougars 42, Dawgs 35

Virgil Jones, Husky linebacker, 1987-1991
This is pretty much the same match-up as the 2001 game except for the fact that it's in rickety Martin Stadium. The Cougars will once again feel the pressure of expectation from their fans and the press. The Huskies can turn 2002 into a yeah-but-year (i.e lost to Cal and threw the Michigan game away but still beat Oregon and WSU on the road). Much like last year's game, Reggie Williams will be the difference. Huskies 27, Cougars 17.
P.S. I was wrong last year about Jason Gesser. I now think he's the best quarterback the Cougs have ever had.

Steve Gleason, Cougar linebacker, 1997-99
The Cougs have focused on one game at a time all season, and that is what they'll have to do this weekend -- play like this is the only game they have to win. If they do that, they'll win because they are the better team. The Cougar defense and special teams will make the difference --- you just know Coach Doba will cook up something special. Can't forecast a score, but victory will be colored crimson.

Jeff Jaeger, Husky All-American kicker, 1983-86
I hope we can carry over the momentum from last week. That's our only hope --- great performance by the Huskies and a flat Cougar effort. If it gets into overtime, though, I think it will be Anderson's turn to kick the game winner. Dunning already had his big day against USC. Huskies 28, Cougars 27

Jim Moore, WSU graduate ('78) and Seattle P-I sports columnist
I've got a bad feeling about this one. Huskies could interrupt Cougs' run toward Pasadena and short-circuit Fiesta Bowl hopes. But I think Drew Dunning will pull it out in overtime. Cougs 31, Dawgs 28

Paul Sorensen, Cougar All-American safety, 1980-81
The ghost of every guy who has ever played at WSU will not let the Dawgs do their happy dance in Martin Stadium like they did in Autzen. Neuheisel's "championship of the Northwest" will be short-lived. I see Jermaine Green running the ball very effectively, opening up the Cougar passing attack -- an attack with so many weapons you can't focus on any one guy. On defense, Marcus Trufant will have a good day against Reggie Williams. Plus, the game's in Pullman -- the Cougars never lose at home and the Huskies rarely win on the road. Cougs 35, Dawgs 24

Kenny Hamer, Husky QB 1978-80
The Dawgs are coming off of two great wins and have finally realized that aggression is a part of football, so they come into Pullman with some momentum. To pull off the upset, and I think they can, they'll need to get to Gesser -- we need to make it tough for him to get the ball to those great receivers. The Husky offense needs to take care of the ball and keep Rien Long out of the backfield so Cody Pickett can air it out. I see Reggie Williams being the game breaker again. It will take the best game of the year for the Huskies to win but I think they're poised to do it. Huskies 24, Cougars 21

John Husby, Cougar All-Pac-10 offensive lineman, 1987-89
The Cougs didn't have the firepower and confidence on offense last year, especially in the Red Zone against the Huskies. That's changed. Coach Levenseller has done a great job of packaging their offensive scheme this year. The Huskies have a renewed sense of purpose with their last two wins. Their offense can really air it out, but Coach Doba will have a bag of mystery fronts and coverages to trip them up. Close early, but WSU pulls away. Cougs 34, Dawgs 14.

Dan Lynch, Cougar All-American guard, 1980-84
I live in Prague (Czech Republic) so I haven't seen either team play this year, but I have listened to every game via the Internet. So with all the insights I've gleaned from Bob Robertson and my old coach, Jim Walden, I feel confident in predicting that Jason Gesser -- with tons of time to throw courtesy of that stout offensive line --- will have a great day. Something along the lines of 400 yards and five TDs. Cougars 45, Dawgs 21

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