A record-breaking victory by the resilient Washington State University football team last November brought the coveted Apple Cup back to the Palouse for the first time since 2012.
Led by Max Borghi’s running, Jayden de Laura’s arm and leadership, and fired-up play on both sides of the ball in Seattle, the Cougs handed the University of Washington Huskies their largest margin of defeat in Apple Cup history at 40–13.
The Cougar team dominated the game, especially in the second half. The defense stifled the Huskies, led by senior linebackers Jahad Woods and Justus Rogers, and senior safety Armani Marsh’s pick-six to cap off the game.
Senior running back Borghi carried the ball a career-high 22 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns, which tied him for most touchdowns in WSU history.
It wasn’t just the veteran players who got in on the fun. Sophomore quarterback de Laura slung the ball with over 84 percent accuracy to freshman De’Zhaun Stribling and redshirt sophomore Donovan Ollie. Senior receivers Travell Harris and Calvin Jackson Jr. also caught plenty of passes.
The WSU faithful poured onto the field after the final whistle to celebrate with the team and coaches.
The Apple Cup took place in a time of turmoil, not only with the pandemic, but for the coaching staffs of both the Huskies and the Cougars. The UW team had earlier fired its coach and offensive coordinator, while WSU head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches had their positions ended in October due to noncompliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees.
WSU defensive coordinator Jake Dickert took over the reins, and the team rallied for the remainder of the season with an astounding Apple Cup win and chance to play at the Sun Bowl on December 31.
About a day after the Apple Cup, WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun announced that the “interim” tag was removed and Dickert would become the 34th head football coach in program history.