Apple Cup Betting Preview: #25 Washington Huskies at Washington St Cougars

#25 Washington Huskies at Washington St Cougars
Friday, November 23, 2012, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Martin Stadium – Pullman, Washington
Opening Line: Washington -10
Current Line: Washington -13 1/2
Opening Total: 51
Current Total: 51
Opening Money Line: Washington -390 / Washington St +335
Current Money Line: Washington -475 / Washington St +405

Washington is a 13.5 point road favorite in their annual Apple Cup battle with Washington St. The Huskies have won 3 straight in the series.

The Washington Huskies travel to the Washington St Cougars Friday in the season finale for both teams. This is the 105th meeting between the schools and since 1962 they have played for the Apple Cup trophy. The Huskies lead the series 67-31-6, including 29-14-1 at Washington St. Washington has won 10 of the last 14 in the series, and 3 in a row. The Huskies won 38-21 last year in Seattle.

Washington is 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the Pac 12 under coach Steve Sarkisian. The Huskies have won 4 straight games after a 3 game losing streak. Washington has home wins over San Diego St 21-12, Portland St 52-13, Stanford 17-13, Oregon St 20-17 and Utah 34-15, along with road wins at California 21-13 and last week at Colorado 38-3. The Huskies have road losses at LSU 41-3, Oregon 52-21, Arizona 52-17, along with a 24-14 home loss to USC. The Huskies are 7-4 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. Washington was  a 20.5 point favorite against Colorado and the total was 54.5.

The Huskies are averaging 354.5 yards per game, including 211.7 passing yards and 142.8 rushing yards. Washington is 84th or worse in all three categories. However, the offense has improved significantly in the past 3 weeks as they have played Cal, Utah, and Colorado. Those three along with Washington St are the worst teams in the Pac 12, as all four have combined for 10 wins season.  On defense, the Huskies are allowing 351.5 yards per game, including 174.3 passing yards (#9 nationally) and 177.3 rushing yards per game. Washington is outscoring teams 23.5-23.2. The Huskies have forced 28 turnovers, and have a turnover margin of +5. The Huskies average 75.5 penalty yards per game and have allowed 31 sacks this year. Washington has forced 22 sacks. The Huskies are 63/176 on third and fourth down conversions, and 31/42 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns. Husky opponents are 61/172 on third and fourth downs, and 27/33 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns. Washington has 3 defensive touchdowns this season.

Washington quarterback Keith Price has completed 223 of 359 passes (62.1%) for 2,292 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has been sacked 31 times through 11 games and has one rushing touchdown. The leaky offensive line is also why the running game has struggled. Two Husky offensive linemen are listed as out for the WSU game. Running back Bishop Sankey has 235 carries, 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus 27 catches for 175 yards. Kendyl Taylor has 31 carries for 200 yards, and 13 catches, 99 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Jesse Callier, Joshua Perkins, Willis Wilson and Deontae Cooper are all out for the season. Receiver Kasen Williams has 63 catches, 700 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins has 58 catches, 753 yards and 5 touchdowns. Besides Sankey no other Husky receiver has more than 18 catches. Twelve Huskies are listed as questionable or out against Washington St.

Washington St is 2-9 this season and 0-8 in the Pac 12 under first year coach Mike Leach. After a 2-1 start, the Cougars have lost 8 straight games. The only wins came at home to Eastern Washington 24-20 and at UNLV 35-27. Washington St has home losses to Colorado 35-34, Oregon 51-26, Cal 31-17, and UCLA 44-36, along with road losses at BYU 30-6, Oregon St 19-6, Stanford 24-17, Utah 49-6, and last week at Arizona St 46-7. The Cougars are 4-6-1 ATS and the total is 5-5 this season. Washington St was a 22 point underdog at Arizona St last week and the total was 60.

Washington St is averaging 358.6 yards per game on offense, including 328.5 passing yards and 30.2 rushing yards per game. The Cougars are #10 in passing nationally, but dead last in rushing out of 124 teams. Washington St is being outscored 34-20 this season. The Cougars are -7 in turnovers with 26 giveaways. Washington St is averaging 63 penalty yards per game and has allowed 53 sacks this season. The Cougars are 63/197 on third and fourth down conversions and 24/34 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. On defense, WSU is allowing 439.6 yards per game including 268.4 passing yards and 171.3 rushing yards. The Cougars are 79th or worse in defensive categories. Washington St has forced 32 sacks and 19 turnovers this season. Cougar opponents are 86/182 on third and fourth down conversions and 39/51 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns.

Washington St uses two quarterbacks. Connor Halliday is 152 for 191 passing (52.2%) with 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has been sacked 21 times this season. Halliday is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Jeff Tuel is 178/279 passing (63.8%) for 1,737 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He has been sacked 31 times. Running back Teondray Caldwell has 53 carries, 262 yards and no touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 29 yards. Carl Winston has 73 carries, 253 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 61 yards. Leon Brooks is questionable with a foot injury. He has 12 carries, 78 yards and a touchdown, along with 7 catches for 22 yards. Leading receiver Marquess Wilson left the team after being suspended. He accused Leach and his staff of being abusive physically and verbally. Gabe Marks has 47 catches, 547 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brett Bartolone has 49 catches, 407 yards and 4 touchdowns. Dominique Williams has 26 catches, 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. Isiah Myers has 38 catches, 391 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a leg injury. Bobby Ratliff has 27 catches for 377 yards.

Washington is 5-0 ATS in Friday games, 4-0 in Pac 12 games, against teams with losing records, after gaining more than 450 yards, in November, and overall, 4-1 after allowing less than 20 points, 15-5-1 on fieldturf, 5-2 in road games against teams with losing home records, 9-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 11-5 after a cover, 8-18 after allowing less than 275 yards, 3-8 after winning by 20 points or more, 2-7 in road games, and 1-4 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less. The Huskies are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 against the Cougars, including 5-1 in Pullman.

Washington St is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records and after allowing 200 yards rushing or more, 3-0-1 after failing to cover, 8-3 after allowing more than 40 points, 12-5 at home against teams with winning road records, 1-3-1 after passing for 280 yards or more, and 0-6 after allowing more than 450 yards. The underdog is 12-5 in this series recently.

Washington really has nothing to play for and is just trying to avoid more injuries before their bowl game. Washington St is just trying to finish up a miserable season. However, none of those things really matter in a rivalry game like this. I think Washington wins, but Washington St keeps it close for a while.

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