This year marks one of the best Apple Cup matchups in recent memory–if not the entire history of the heated rivalry–as No. 18 Washington hosts No. 14 Washington State.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on FOX. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch the game on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch today’s game at no cost:
FuboTV: Fox (live in 70-plus markets, including Seattle) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
DirecTV Now: Fox (live in 39 markets) is included in all four channel packages, ranging from $35 to $70 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: Fox (live in 17 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
The stakes couldn’t be much higher for Washington State. If the Cougs win on Saturday night, they’ll win the Pac-12 North, get to play USC in the Pac-12 championship and have a legitimate shot at securing a spot in a very good Bowl, if not the college football playoff (FiveThirtyEight gives them a 24 percent chance at making the playoff if they win out).
The only problem? They’ve struggled immensely with their cross-state rivals in recent history. Washington has won the last four Apple Cups by a margin of 91 points, as well as seven of the last eight. WSU’s last win was in 2012, and their last win in Seattle was in 2007 against a 4-8 Husky team that was crumbling under Tyrone Willingham.
Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to write off WSU simply because of past matchups, as the Cougars haven’t been this good in years. The offense is inconsistent but explosive, averaging 449.4 yards per game, and the defense is the best it has been in a long time, as it ranks 12th in the nation in yards per game allowed (320.3), 16th in yards per play allowed (4.8) and third in takeaways per game (2.6).
Washington boasts a similar profile. The offense, with players like Jake Browning, Dante Pettis and Myles Gaskin, can score in a hurry when its clicking, but it’s the defense that has often carried the team. Though they’ve given up 30 points in back-to-back games, the Huskies are still fifth in the nation in points allowed per game (15.3), fifth in yards allowed per game (283.2) and third in yards allowed per play (4.1).
Home-field advantage has the Huskies–who don’t have much to play for this year and are simply looking to play spoiler–as nine-point favorites. But don’t be surprised if this Apple Cup–which features a pair of nine-win teams for the first time since 1992–is much closer than that.