Washington State-Washington: From The '60s To The '90s
Nov. 15, 2006
Editor's Note: This is the fourth installment of a six-part series featuring the most memorable games of the Washington State-Washington football rivalry, universally known as the Apple Cup.
Apple Cup Series
The 99th meeting in the series, which dates back to 1900, will kickoff at 3:45 p.m., Saturday, November 18 at Martin Stadium.
Today's Feature: From a battle for the right to play in sunny Southern California in January to playing in a Seattle icebox in November, over the past 40 years, the Apple Cup has featured a little bit of everything. Part four of the Apple Cup series features accounts of select games from 1967 to 1994. Much of the information and quotes in the piece were taken from newspaper accounts of the game.
Check back to wsucougars.com Thursday for part five of the Apple Cup series.
1967 Apple Cup
On the surface, the 1967 Apple Cup looked to have all the makings of a Husky win. The Cougars entered the game with a 1-8 record and had lost to the Huskies eight consecutive times in the series.
However, despite their record, the Cougars had nearly defeated Oregon and beat Idaho 52-14 in their last two games. In addition, the Huskies were 5-4 and had lost their last two games, including a 48-0 blowout at the hands of UCLA two weeks earlier.
The game was to be televised live, which also was a bad omen for Washington as the Huskies had lost four consecutive games in which they appeared on live television.
The Cougars were down 7-3 at the half but rallied to take the lead in the third quarter. A 10-yard touchdown pass from Mike Cadigan to Larry Thatcher capped an 11-play, 77-yard drive.
The issue was in doubt until Washington kicker Don Martin, who kicked four field goals in the Huskies 19-7 win in the 1966 Apple Cup, missed a 31-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining that would have given UW the win.
"Easiest one I had all year," Martin said of the kick.
"I don't believe it," WSU co-captain Dick Baird said. "We only won two games this year, and this has to be the greatest."
1968 Apple Cup
Not since 1958 had Washington had a losing season. That streak was in jeopardy of ending in 1968 as the Huskies entered the Apple Cup with a 3-4-2 mark.
The streak would end as the Cougars, who were 2-6-1 entering the game, pitched their only shutout in the history of the series.
Senior Hank Grenda was the surprise starter at quarterback for the Cougars. Grenda, who started only his second game since early last year, proceeded to score one rushing touchdown, passed for two others, kick three PATs, a field goal, and also did all of the punting.
WSU Head Coach Jim Sweeney had not decided until the morning of game day to start Grenda. Sweeney did not tell Grenda that he was starting until just before leaving the locker room.
"We had been using him a lot in practice," Sweeney said. "He looked good all week."
WSU enjoyed a 10-0 halftime lead, and Washington amassed only four first downs and 71 total yards in the first half. Things did not get much better for the Huskies as they had a touchdown called back due to a penalty at the beginning of the second half.
Sweeney became the first WSU coach to win in his first season against the Huskies since Babe Hollingbery in 1926.
As for the Huskies, their troubles may have been best summed up by Seattle P-I writer Phil Taylor as he called the loss, "one of the darkest days in the history of Washington football."
1972 Apple Cup
The 1972 edition of the Apple Cup featured numerous storylines. The game at Joe Albi Stadium would feature a pair of ranked teams. Washington entered the game with an 8-2 mark and ranked 17th in the nation. Washington State was 6-4 and coming off a 27-13 win over then 20th ranked and two-time Rose Bowl champion Stanford, which propelled the Cougars into the national rankings at No. 20.
Another major storyline was the game would feature two quarterbacks with over 5,000 career passing yards: Ty Paine of Washington State and Washington's Sonny Sixkiller.
Paine was nursing an ankle injury throughout the week, and it was questionable whether he would play at all, made all the more noteworthy due to the fact that Paine had never missed a down because of injury in his career.
The storyline concerning Sixkiller, who would play his final game in his legendary career, was how he would matchup with the Cougar defense, which had been making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks throughout the season. In the win over Stanford, the defense sacked Stanford quarterback Mike Boryla 10 times. Earlier in the season, the defense sacked Oregon quarterback Dan Fouts eight times in a 31-14 win over the Ducks.
Paine did play while Sixkiller struggled with WSU's defense all day. The Cougars sacked Sixkiller six times, forced him into three fumbles, while Eric Johnson intercepted Sixkiller three times. The Huskies also lost five of six fumbles, had a punt blocked and finished with minus 11 yards rushing.
The Cougars trailed 10-3 at the half, but Paine's 7-yard touchdown run tied the game at 10 heading into the final quarter.
WSU dominated the fourth quarter outscoring Washington 17-0 to record its first Apple Cup win since 1968.
1973 Apple Cup
There were several signs posted in the Washington locker room during Apple Cup week that read: "Washington has never gone through a season without winning at least one conference game."
With the departure of renowned quarterback Sonny Sixkiller, Washington had struggled in 1973. The Huskies entered the Apple Cup game with a 2-8 overall mark and a 0-6 record in Pacific-8 Conference play. WSU, on the other hand, was 4-6, but had won its last three games.
The Cougars left little doubt as to the outcome of this one, bolting out to a 28-0 lead en route to a halftime advantage of 42-6.
The Huskies rallied to cut their deficit to 42-26 in the third quarter but the Cougars scored the final 10 points to post the most points ever scored by the team against Washington.
Andrew Jones rushed for 139 yards leading a Cougar rushing attack that ran up 284 yards while UW totaled minus 14 yards rushing. In all, WSU tallied 541 yards in total offense.
1981 Apple Cup
Like 1972, the 1981 Apple Cup featured two ranked teams: No. 14 Washington State and No. 17 Washington.
But this game featured something much more significant and unique to any game in the series up to this point -- a Rose Bowl berth was at stake.
A WSU win would guarantee the Cougars their first trip to Pasadena since the 1931 Rose Bowl. A Washington win, along with a little help from USC, would earn UW the right to go to the Rose Bowl.
Done in by six turnovers (three fumbles, three interceptions) the Cougars saw their Rose Bowl dreams denied while Washington punched its ticket to Pasadena.
In addition to the turnovers, the Cougars lost a main cog in their offense when quarterback Clete Casper went out in the second quarter with an injured hamstring and did not return.
WSU was up 7-3 but a diving touchdown catch by Paul Skansi with eight seconds left in the first half propelled Washington to a 10-7 halftime advantage.
WSU tied the game at 10 on its first second half possession, but Washington responded by scoring 10 quick points with an 80-yard touchdown drive and a field goal set up by a WSU fumble deep in its own territory. It proved to be a deficit WSU was unable to overcome.
Despite the disappointment of seeing their Rose Bowl dreams dashed, the Cougars did accept a bid to play in the Holiday Bowl. It would be the Cougars first bowl game since the '31 Rose Bowl.
As WSU Head Coach Jim Walden said, "If I said before the season that we were going to a bowl this year, everyone would have laughed and written stories saying I was wacko."
Besides, WSU would have its revenge over the next two years.
1983 Apple Cup
It had been a frustrating start to the 1983 season for WSU Head Coach Jim Walden.
After a 27-7 win over Montana State, the Cougars gave No. 6 Michigan all it could handle at Ann Arbor before falling 20-17.
But after taking Michigan to the brink, the Cougars fell off a cliff themselves, following up the Michigan game with a 45-6 blowout loss to No. 7 Arizona.
Through six games, the Cougars were 2-4, with their fourth defeat coming at the hands of UCLA, 24-14, at Pullman.
Prior to the UCLA game, Walden said, "We haven't played but one good half in the last three weeks, and that's what is driving me crazy. There is no pattern to it. We can't put one full football game together."
And after UCLA, Walden stated, "This could go down as one of the most talented, bad football teams in Washington State history."
Perhaps taking motivation from their coach, the Cougars rallied to win four straight games heading into the Apple Cup.
Washington, meanwhile, was in what seemed to become its customary position of playing for a berth to the Rose Bowl with a win over WSU. The Huskies brought an 8-2 record into the Apple Cup game and only needed a win over the Cougars to go to Pasadena, a trip that was denied the team the year previous by WSU's monumental 24-20 upset in Pullman.
Not surprisingly, the 15th-ranked Huskies were heavily favored in the game. The Husky offense was averaging 413.7 yards per game, 14th best in the nation. Washington needed just 70 yards to break the school offensive mark set in 1980.
A dominating performance took place on that soggy day at UW Stadium, just not from the team that most people expected.
For the second straight year, WSU denied Washington a trip to the Rose Bowl by holding the vaunted Husky offense to only two field goals in its 17-6 win.
Kerry Porter rushed for 169 yards, ending the season with exactly 1,000 yards and Richard Calvin scored on two short touchdown runs to propel the Cougars to their second straight victory in the series.
In handing Washington its first home loss in 17 games, the Cougars rushed for 224 yards and held the Huskies to 67 yards on the ground.
"It makes it even better that we did it here this year," Porter said. "Whether we go to a bowl game or not, beating the Dogs makes this season worthwhile."
Despite their 7-4 record, the Cougars were denied a bowl bid while Washington settled for a trip to the Aloha Bowl.
In spite of not being able to go to a bowl game, there seemed to be little doubt to the Cougars as to who was the best team in the Pac-10.
"I have been here four years and my dream has been to play on the best team in the Pac-10," Dan Lynch said. "I feel like I have done that."
1985 Apple Cup
How cold was it during Apple Cup Week 1985?
It was so cold that the Washington maintenance crew spent the entire Wednesday night into Thursday morning at Husky Stadium flushing each toilet every 15 minutes to prevent the pipes from freezing.
It was so cold that the temperature dipped to a record low of 19 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport, Friday. In addition, seven and a half inches of snow had fallen at the airport.
Efforts to keep the Husky Stadium surface playable included two Zamboni machines and over 6,000 pounds of fertilizer.
Skies were clear with temperature in the 20s the day of Apple Cup. A crowd of 49,302 (there were 10,895 no shows) witnessed the Cougars take their third Apple Cup in four years.
Tied at 14 at the end of three quarters, Rypien capped a 9-play, 84-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor that gave WSU a 21-14 lead.
With 2:25 left to play and facing a fourth down, Washington quarterback Chris Chandler connected with Lonzell Hill for a 50-yard touchdown pass to pull the Huskies to within one at 21-20. The two-point try failed, however, and the Cougars escaped Seattle with the win.
Mark Rypien threw three touchdown passes and Rueben Mayes rushed for 167 yards for WSU, who finished the season with a 4-7 record.
1994 Apple Cup
The 6-4 Cougars entered the '94 Apple Cup on a two-game losing skid while Washington was 7-3 and ranked 18th in the nation.
The '94 Cougar team was one of extremes. The offense had averaged only 15.9 points and 275 yards a game. On the other hand, the defense, which had garnered the name "The Palouse Posse," was stout, holding opponents to an average of 12.7 points a game.
Two years after the famed "Snow Bowl," it looked to be a repeat setting for the '94 edition, as snow began to fall at Martin Stadium two and a half hours before kickoff. Plows were able to remove the snow from the field prior to the game, and while snow fell intermittingly during the game, it proved to be nothing of a repeat of 1992.
What was a repeat of 1992 was the Cougars' domination over their in-state rivals. WSU scored three first half touchdowns to cruise to the win. The maligned offense produced 327 total yards. Quarterback Chad Davis threw for 193 yards. Kevin Hicks rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown while Derek Sparks ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns.
The "Palouse Posse" kept up their dominance, holding Washington to 197 total yards and one touchdown that was scored on Washington's first possession of the game.
The win gave the Cougars a 7-4 mark and a berth into the Alamo Bowl, where they defeated Baylor 10-3.
By Jason Krump
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS