Derek Johnson, Columnist. Record: 5-6: Jason Gesser won't make the same mistakes that Fife and Anderson made. This will proive to be the difference. I love the intensity that the Huskies are effusing. I love the fact that Alexis is running with abandon and not fumbling! I love the confidence that my namesake Derrick Johnson is playing with. It is like once he snared that first interception against OSU, it sparked something within him, and he became ravenous for more. The closing speed he exhibited against the Ducks was simply wonderful. Alas, WSU will prove to be just too much.
Prediction: WSU 30, UW 27
Andy Poehlman, Columnist. Record: 5-5: Part I: GAME ANALYSIS - For some reason, even in the dreariest parts of this season, this game did not scare me. I have always felt like we would either win or at least be very competitive, and as apple cup week is finally upon us, I feel no differently. If the Dawgs play decent zone and contain Gesser, they have a good shot to pull off an upset. If they can run and control the clock, they have a good chance to pull off the upset. If they do both, they will win. I think they'll do one and it will be close. WSU deserves a lot of credit this year.
PART TWO: LLOYD BENTSEN AND MY FAVORITE PLAYERS - That said, I have one bone to pick, a little AC smack, if you will. I have heard all week how Gesser is sort of like WSU's Marques Tuiasosopo. I hear how he is a great leader and he has willed them to victories and all that... and apparantly in this AC Gesser's team won't be denied. Hooey. Gesser is a good player, but I don't know about all that. He will not will anybody to anything tomorrow. He will just play. Comparing Gesser to Tui is like comparing buying a new Cadillac to having your first child. One is great, but the other is once in a lifetime. Now on to Rien Long. Again, great player. But, I just think that somehow the media in this town just can't polish the Cougs apples fast enough this week. Steve Emtman? NO WAY! Dennis Brown, sure. Ron Holmes? I can see it. Steve Emtman? That's like comparing a Cadillac to a Bentley. It's just a different league. So to sum up my feelings going into this Apple Cup, I would like to paraphrase one of the great upbraidings of our time, delivered by Lloyd Bentsen, "Dear, Cougs... I hear you and others comparing you guys to Steve Emtman and Marques Tuiasosopo. Well, I knew Steve Emtman and Marques Tuiasosopo... and Gesser & Long are no Steve Emtman and Marques Tuiasosopo."
PART 3: PREDICTION - The Cougs are still the Cougs and the Dawgs are still the Dawgs. And the best thing to say to get a Coug to leave you alone is still, "keep the change."
Prediction: UW 38, WSU 35
Joe Kaiser, Columnist: Record: 7-4: Boy do I feel stupid after last week's prediction of a Ducks victory. Thanks to all who reminded me of my blunder - namely you Mr. Croy, nice phone message. I pride myself upon staying in tune with the state of the team, and usually I get a good sense of how they are going to play on Saturdays, but last week I was flat wrong. The young men at Montlake are starting to have a little swagger to them, a confidence that just wasn't there prior to two weeks ago. For that reason, I think it's going to be a close, hard-fought Apple Cup. Neuheisel and company have been all business this week, and with the pressure that the Cougars are feeling as the No. 3 team in the land, look for the Dawgs to eek by in a big-time upset. And don't be surprised if you hear another, "Reggie Williams, how good are you!" from Mr. Rondeau this Saturday. He'll reach paydirt at least once more in the 2002 season.
Prediction: UW 36, WSU 32
Rick Samek, Columnist. Record: 6-5: I've put a great deal of thought into it this week. Well, maybe not a GREAT deal. Perhaps a little. A trifle. A smidgen. Aw hell, I've been locked up in a Philadelphia computer disaster center since Sunday and haven't had diddly to look at, much less a newspaper. But we've attended the previous eleven, and I'll be DAMNED if I'm gonna miss game twelve -- and so I'm off the plane, I'll have just enough time to unpack, and then pack up again for the drive to Pullman on Friday. Oh, the game. Well, I'm 6-5, and so is Washington. My daughter suggested two weeks ago for me to start wearing black for Husky games, and so I did for OSU and for Oregon. By cracky, there's a new color in town -- though I am not the least bit superstitious. So what the hell, I might as well finish with the same record as our beloved Dawgs. For being the least homeristic of any of my peers, that's about as homerish as it can get.
Prediction: Washington 31, WSU 29 - in black!
Dawn Van Diest, Sports Washington. Record: 9-2: I'm going for the Northwest Trifecta for the sake of Braxton Cleman's t-shirt and because Coach Neu means business this week. The Huskies have all the mo' and the Cougars have sat around for two weeks trying to re-create the BCS formula. The defense will need some huge plays -- I'd just run the Oregon "take the ball right out of Gesser's hands and run for a TD" scheme the entire game. The Dawgs absolutely cannot let Gesser run around like a mad man making plays all over the field. Maybe the Huskies will bring in another surprise player at CB to help defend Mike Bush? I'm throwing the rankings out the window because anything can happen in the Apple Cup.
Dawgs 45, Cougars 41
Pat Thrapp, Columnist. Record: 7-4: This game is a real tough one in my mind to predict. WSU has won every challenge they have faced at home. They lost the one big challenge on the road to OSU. UW has been searching for an identity since that Michigan game. Which was lost on a technicality. Well I think so. Last week they spot Oregon 14 in Autzen - then score 42 unanswered points! UW scored another 41 on a defense that is statistically better than WSU. That would be OSU. I heard Rick say on the radio that UW leads the Pac-10 in 1st downs. #2 is over 50 behind! So UW can control the ball. They don't commit a lot of penalties. The least of the Pac-10 I believe. The last 2 games this Husky team has been stingy with the ball. Not giving the ball away like before. At least not inside the 10 like they did against Cal. Twice! How many times did UCLA get the ball back? That all said I am trying to say UW isn't that bad of a team, although they can be if they allow it. It is in them. I have seen it. WSU is a good team. No doubt about it. On paper UW should get clobbered. Defense favors the Cougars, but only over the whole season not the last few weeks I bet. This is a chance for WSU to make a statement on a national level. Price might feel these next 3 games are seasons within themselves. Do the Cougars have 3 perfect (1-0) seasons in them? Both teams provide 2 talented QB's, both WR's corps are real good. I think this Apple Cup will be a barnburner of a game. Decided by turnovers. I believe it is in these Huskies right now to ruin a parade, to inflict the agony of defeat on these Cougars. I say they go down hard like a high ranked team can. GO DAWGS!
Prediction: Washington 31, WSU 27
Henry Han, Intern. Record: 6-5: How wrong was I on my Oregon prediction? It sure felt good to be wrong last week. The Huskies go marching into Pullman with their confidence higher than it ever has been this season, and judging from history, when the Huskies are confident, the Huskies are winners. The Cougars are confident as well with hopes of not only the Rose Bowl, but perhaps a national championship in the horizon. There may be a special reason why practices are closed this week. Maybe Coach Neuheisel has something BIG planned up his sleeve to surprise Cougar nation on Saturday. With that in mind, no special tricks will be needed as long as they: 1) Find Reggie 2) Contain Gesser and Co. and 3) Block out Steve, I mean Rien Long. So I'm going to make this prediction now, and I don't care just how accurate it is, I'm doing for my sanity and nostalgia purposes. Don't go nuts on me on the message boards. I'm just an intern, what do I know?
Prediction: Washington 51, Washington State 3
Edwin Kim, Intern. Record: 5-4: Gess-Who has never beaten Washington? The Husky seniors have never lost to WSU. The WSU seniors have never beaten UW. This will be my 4th Apple Cup and so far the Huskies are 3-0. I refuse to believe that the cougars are a better football team. The Huskies should be superior athletes riding high with the confidence gained last week in Eugene. That's enough for me. You know they'll coug it anyway. The defense wins this game, they've been awesome the last few weeks. I know one thing... I'll finish the year ahead of Grinolds. Viva Las Vegas.
Prediction: UW 38, WSU 21
Chris Fetters, Editor. Record: 6-5. Well, this is a classic match up of... oh, who am I kidding. If I predict a Husky victory I'll get run out of town faster than Vin Baker. I'd be sent to the same car wash that Bobby Ayala now works at. So therefore, it doesn't matter what I say...COUGS WIN! (tongue planted firmly in cheek, expecting my 'mojo in reverse' to kick in)
Prediction: WSU 55, UW 0
Kim Grinolds, Business Operations. Record: 5-6: Reggie Williams is unstoppable. WSU's Marcus Trufant will be tabbed to do it, but with Williams lining up inside and out, in the slot and out wide, they'll have a difficult time retaining that match up. Cody will find him and the Cougars will suffer. Also, Kevin Ware down the middle of the inexperienced WSU linebacking corps will spell more trouble for WSU, as they go down at home in one of the toughest losses in their program's history.
Prediction: Washington 35, WSU 31
David Samek, Publisher. Record: 8-3: Last weeks' game was too easy to call. Really, it went just about like I thought it would except I never dreamed that Jason Fife would be as inept as he was. Oregon, to put it simply, is not very good this year. Jason Gesser is a senior and will not make the same mistakes that Fife did, but Washington knows how to defend this guy. They know the secret is to contain him and not let him flush the pocket and create big plays. Last year's game plan was masterful, Tim Hundley threw a perfect game at him. Manase Hopoi and Kai Ellis know this, and will do their best to stay home while Josh Miller and Terry Johnson continue their improvements at collapsing the pocket. Gesser is best when on the move, and is not a pinpoint accurate passer. Keep him in the pocket and collapse around him, and he becomes pretty ordinary. Washington will have difficulty running the ball against WSU, but the key will be Pickett's decision-making. The short underneath stuff will be there. Slants, dinks, wheels, and drag patterns will all be there for Williams, Ware, Arnold, Frederick, and Alexis. If Pickett can keep from turning the ball over more than one time, the Dawgs can win this one. I think Gesser will turn it over at least twice. Washington has proven they can stop the run, so I don't think Jermaine Green will pose a huge problem for Mahdavi, Cooper, and Williams, as long as they watch the traps and cutbacks. I predict that Washington wins the turnover margin by two, and the game by the same margin.
Prediction: Washington 23, WSU 21
To read last week's predictions against Oregon, CLICK HERE.
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