Rivalry games are the toughest to predict. You just never know what will happen because of the high emotional level the players hit the field with. Typically the underdog has a bit of an advantage and a chip on its shoulder going into a game like this.
Sometimes the favorite is caught a bit off guard and that has actually mirrored the history of this series. The last Apple Cup that actually meant something featured the Huskies knocking the Cougars out of a bowl bid in 2006. The Cougars would like nothing better than returning the favor on Saturday.
What we know about Washington State is that they are a typical 2-9 football team with the exception of having plenty of upside heading into next season.There is plenty of youth playing for the Cougars on Saturday and they are maturing rapidly. They may not execute well on every play or series but they step up to the line and hit you in the mouth and if you take them lightly at this point of the season you are going to lose.
Odds are this game is going to be played in less than desirable weather and the team that runs the ball best and stops the run even better is going to come out as the winner. Washington does a better job in both those area's than the Cougars and I think that is what gives them the decided edge going into this one.
So what if the Cougars put eight in a box in an attempt to close down the rushing game and put it all on the arm of Jake Locker? I happen to like the odds of Jake being ready to take advantage of such a bold gambit. I wouldn't mind seeing what our receivers can do against the Cougar secondary in one on one situations.
If you are a student of Steve Sarkisian's play calling you know he isn't going to approach this game with a one dimensional game plan no matter what the weather is going to be like. He is going to mix up the pass and run just as usual. If he thinks he can bust the Cougars deep and early he is going to attempt it.