Apple Cup shocker 30 years ago!

21 Nov

The Washington Huskies, riding a four-game winning streak, will travel to Eastern Washington to play the Washington State Cougars Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

The Huskies are a 13 1/2-point favorite as the Cougars enter the contest riding an eight-game losing streak under new coach Mike Leach.

Lets take a look back at one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Apple Cup.

30 years ago – Nov. 20, 1982 – WSU 24, UW 20

The Cougars, coached by Jim Walden, entered the game with a 2-7-1 record and were listed as a 17-point underdog against a Washington team that was 9-1  and ranked #5 in the nation. The Huskies only lost was to the John Elway-led Stanford Cardinal (43-31).

The Cougs were 0-2-1 in Pullman entering the Apple Cup in 1982.

This was the first game played on campus in the series since 1954 when the game was played at Rogers Field at Washington State College. The Cougs won that game 26-7. Rogers Field held just over 21,000, while Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane could handle more than 30,000. It was renamed Martin Stadium and expanded to 40,000 in 1979.

Washington State rallied from a 17-7 halftime deficit by outscoring UW 17-3 in the second half.

What happened that Saturday afternoon:

Chuck Nelson missed a crucial 4th quarter FG from 33 yards with UW trailing 21-20 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining. “It was within a foot or so,” Nelson said. “I didn’t think I made it, but for a moment I thought they might give it to me.” It was Nelson’s first missed FG of the year after making 25 in a row and the wide-right kick stopped his NCAA record string at 30.

The Huskies had the ball two more times in the game but QB Tim Cowan fumbled with 2:05 remaining after a hit by Rob Treece.With 56 seconds on the clock, Cowan was intercepted by Mark Pleis.

A key fumble by WR Paul Skansi early in the 3rd quarter set up the first score by the Cougs in the second half “That’s the first fumble I’ve ever had,” said Skansi. “Heck of a time for it, huh?”

The following kickoff was handled poorly by UW and the Huskies had to start from their 5-yard line. The Huskies went 3-and-out and were forced to punt. WSU took over at the UW 48-yard line and drove down the field scoring on a 7-yard run by Tim Harris to give the Wazzu the lead for good – 21-17.

The lost curbed the chances for a third straight appearance in the Rose Bowl for UW. The Huskies instead played Maryland in the Aloha Bowl – winning  21-20.

The win by Wazzu stopped an 8-game losing streak to UW dating back to 1974. WSU has had two 8-game losing streaks to UW in the 112 games played between the two schools.

Rushing yards

UW – Jacque Robinson 32-137; WSU – James Matthews 26-110, Tim Harris 26-124.


UW – Tim Cowan 19-29, 241 yards; WSU – Clete Casper 7-14, 44 yards.

Receiving yards

UW – Anthony Allen 9-140, 2 TDs, Paul Skansi 8-85.


“It’s the greatest feeling in my career”, said WSU’s fifth-year senior QB Clete Casper.

“There were seven guys coming on the play and I would have come too, if they would have let me,” said Jim Walden on the big fumble with 2:05 remaining to play in the game.

“Something emotionally today told me I was going to win with Clete Casper or I was going to sink with Clete Casper. He was denied a chance to lead us to the Rose Bowl a year ago,” said Walden.

The Goal Posts

One of the Goal Posts was torn down after the game by a bunch of happy Cougar fans. The group of students tried  to carry it to downtown Pullman but police made them take a detour, in which the goal post ended up in the Palouse River near downtown.

Some of this information gained from The Seattle Times Newspaper. Go to for information on the 2012 Apple Cup.


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