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Fruitful rivals: History of UW and WSU’s Apple Cup

The tradition goes back more than a century.

The UW Huskies hoist the Apple Cup Trophy in 2017

UW’s 2017 Apple Cup victory was the last time a Top 20-ranked Huskies team won at home.

Photo courtesy of UW Athletics

Things about to get real juicy at Husky Stadium. The Apple Cup kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 25, with UW hosting WSU in the annual rivalry game.

The Huskies are going into the contest undefeated this season, with their eyes on possibly making the College Football Playoff — so get those dubs up.

Adding even more drama? While the Apple Cup will continue through at least 2028, this will be the last time the schools face off as Pac-12 nemeses since the Huskies are move the Big Ten next year. We’ll miss those Cougs.

Strap on your helmets as we take a trip down memory lane.

The 1900 game between UW and Washington State with the teams playing in mud without helmets and a Seattle Hardware ad in the background

Back in 1900, WSU was still called Washington Agricultural College.

Photo courtesy of UW Athletics

🏈 How it all began

UW and Wazzu started going at it in 1900 with a grueling game that ended in a 5-5 tie. They started competing for the Governor’s Trophy in 1934 before the Apple Cup Trophy came into play thirty years later. Sure, the trophy is not technically a cup — but the name stuck since apples are kind of Washington’s thing.

Saturday will mark the 115th time the two football squads have faced off. The Huskies have by far gotten the best of the Cougars historically, winning 75 games. Other fun facts:

  • The “Huskies” didn’t play the “Cougars” until 1922 (before that, UW’s team was known by nicknames like the “Sun Dodgers,” while its rival were the “Aggies”).
  • Largest margin of victory: UW’s 51-3 win in 2000.
  • Longest winning streak: Eight games, which UW accomplished twice from 1959-1966 + 1974-1981.

The image of Paul Skansi’s acrobatic catch in the 1981 Apple Cup hangs in the concourse at Husky Stadium.

Richard Mackson/Sports Illustrated via UW Athletics

🏆 Memorable moments

Remember these classic Huskies victories?

  • 1975: Future NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon heaved a throw tipped to wide receiver Spider Gaines for the winning touchdown.
  • 1981: The 23-10 triumph sent UW to the Rose Bowl.
  • 2002: UW won in triple overtime on a controversial backwards pass call.

Savor the Thanksgiving week memories while you can — next year, the Apple Cup will take place in September.

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