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Dawgman.com Predictions: Apple Cup

It's Apple Cup time! The Washington Huskies (5-6 overall, 3-5 in the Pac-12) take on No. 20 Washington State (8-3, 6-2) for the 108th time - for in-state bragging rights, for recruiting momentum, for the whole ball of wax. So who are the staff members picking this week? It's really no surprise.

Patrick Thrapp - Numbers Guru (7-4):

I believe the Huskies will have to run the ball effectively to win this game and use the clock keep the Cougars' offense off the field. Gaskin will be key, but so will the short passes. I don't think we can beat the Cougars with the long ball. They show a solid set of lines. They may not run the ball in the traditional sense; they get that production from the short passing game. They are good at getting the ball to players that are good in space. The quickness they get the ball to their receivers will mean our secondary will be key in stopping them. I see an opportunity with turnovers.  Defend and run, we win.

Prediction: Washington 33-30

Luke Mounger - Intern Extraordinaire (5-6):

The high-powered Cougar offense is finally coupled with a conference average defense. Assuming Luke Falk is ready to roll Friday, this could be a tough one. But easy ones aren't fun. I believe Friday will come down to keeping the talented Cougar pass rush out of the Jake Browning's face. If Washington can do that, they'll have a real chance. I think the young Huskies rise to the challenge.

Prediction: Washington 31-27

Jay Torrell - Sports Washington/Scout.com (8-3):

The Dawgs and Cougs played remarkably similar seasons with only a handful of important differences. Both went 2-1 in the non-conference (but WSU losing to Portland State?) Both won in LA. Both lost to Stanford (albeit UW big on the road with a back-up QB and the Cougs at home on a missed field goal.) Both beat Arizona and Oregon State (Huskies easily, Cougs not so much.) Now the differences, WSU got to beat Colorado while the Huskies lost to a then ranked No. 12 Utah team. Cougs beat ASU at Pullman in November while the Dawgs wilted in the 85 degree Tempe heat. And the big one; Cougs beat a Vernon Davis-less Duck squad (three quarters) while the Dawgs lost at home to a rejuvenated Davis-led Duck team that has yet to lose a game since. My point - a few things bounce differently for either team and the narrative and rankings are switched. The woulda-coulda-shoulda season ends on a high note.

Prediction: Washington 35-27

Chris Fetters - Editor (7-4):

This is another one of those 'best-on-best' matchups that Washington seems to have had nearly every week in the Pac-12, minus last week's shellacking at Oregon State. A solid early start will once again be crucial to Washington's chances of success, but it won't guarantee anything. We saw as much at Arizona State. Again, does the opposition have enough to lay serious points on the Huskies' D? For all the yards WSU puts up, they are less than a touchdown better than the Huskies on the scoreboard when it's all said and done. And Washington hasn't given up more than 31 all year long. And Luke Falk shouldn't be playing in this game, full-stop. Hopefully common sense prevails there. 

Prediction: Washington 28-20 

Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (6-5):

Torn on which way to go on this one.Typically, great defense defeats great offense, but in rivalry games, it's such a tough call. There should be no shortage of motivation on either side -- UW to get bowl eligible and WSU to keep the Dawgs out of a bowl game -- but all in all, this will come down to execution. WSU's offense has always scored a lot of points, but their defense couldn't keep people from scoring. That isn't necessarily the case this season. UW's offense needs to hold onto the ball as much as possible and not turn it over. Giving the Cougs short fields will not make it easy on the defense. I'm going to go with UW on this one, but I don't feel very confident honestly.

Prediction: Washington 30-28

Kim Grinolds - CEO (7-4):

Sure WSU has the best passing offense in the conference. But they've also struggled at times when it comes to scoring points, where they rank sixth in the conference. UW's defense will give them fits no matter who their quarterback is. 

Prediction: Washington 42-17

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