SEATTLE — Travell Harris rode on the shoulders of the crimson fans that engulfed the field. Jayden de Laura waived a version of Ol’ Crimson before spiking the unmistakable flag into the turf field.
Even Butch, the Washington State mascot, took his turn crowd surfing on the field at Husky Stadium.
After seven straight losses to its rivals, Washington State had a celebration to remember after the most lopsided Cougars’ victory in the history of the rivalry matchup against Washington.
“It’s special. Coug Nation deserves it, this team deserved it, the seniors deserved it,” Washington State running back Max Borghi said. “I can’t really put words into it yet, it hasn’t really sunk in. But holding that Apple Cup trophy is something we’ve all dreamt about and it was incredible.”
Borghi rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns, and Washington State handed Washington a 40-13 defeat in the Apple Cup on Friday night.
The Cougars snapped a seven-game losing streak to their rivals, picking up their first win in the series since 2012 and first at Husky Stadium since 2007.
And the Cougars (7-5, 6-3 Pac-12) did it in grand, record-setting fashion with a dominant and complete thumping that left those in crimson rushing the field to celebrate while those clad in purple made an early move to the exits.
The 27-point margin of victory topped the previous high of 26 points when Washington State won 52-26 in 1973, a game also played in Seattle.
“This win, it wasn’t just for us,” Washington State linebacker Justus Rogers said. “It was for the people that came before us, the teams that came before us that I’ve been a part of as well.”
Borghi scored on a 32-yard touchdown run on Washington State’s opening possession and set the tone for the night. He added a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter and only the Cougars’ inability to finish drives in the first half kept the game from being even more one-sided.
De Laura hit 21 of his first 22 pass attempts and finished 27 of 32 for 245 yards. Dean Janikowski kicked four field goals for Washington State as well.
The victory may have locked up the head coaching position permanently for interim head coach Jake Dickert, who was already receiving significant support for the job he’s done in the wake of Nick Rolovich being fired in mid-October. The Cougars went 3-2 in Dickert’s five games in charge.
And there could still be one more game to come besides a bowl trip for Washington State. If Oregon State can beat Oregon today it will be the Cougars as the Pac-12 North representative opposite Utah in the Pac-12 championship game next Friday in Las Vegas.
“They’ve given me everything they can and they stay together and they trusted each other. They’ve kept believing,” Dickert said. “It’s very fitting for these guys to go out there and to enjoy this moment to bring the Apple Cup back home.”
Washington (4-8, 3-6) capped its worst season since going winless in 2008. The Huskies were already assured of a losing record after last week’s loss at Colorado and their performance against the Cougars was bland and at times lifeless.
Highly-touted Washington freshman quarterback Sam Huard made his first start of the season as Dylan Morris was relegated to spectator for the season finale. Fans have called for Huard as the offensive struggles have continued all season.
Huard was put into a tough position and his performance matched his inexperience. Huard threw four interceptions, the last one a deflection that should have been caught by Devin Culp and was returned 28 yards by Armani Marsh for a touchdown, his second interception of the game.
Huard finished 17 of 31 passing or 190 yards. He threw the first touchdown of his career as Rome Odunze made a terrific catch for a 16-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.
“It’s been a crazy season,” Washington running back Sean McGrew said. “It would have been nice to end on a positive note but (stuff) happens and can’t change it now. It’s definitely sad.”
Washington’s streak of holding opponents under 36 points came to an end at 86. The last team to score 36 or more against Washington was UCLA in a 44-30 loss to the Bruins in 2014. It was the longest active streak in the country.
Washington State: It was the 12th time in the history of the Apple Cup the Cougars won by double figures and the first double-digit winner since 23-6 in 1994. Washington State’s last six wins in the series had all been by seven points or less. … Washington State led 13-7 at halftime, its first halftime lead in the Apple Cup since 2013.
Washington: The Huskies are facing a major rebuild whoever ends up with the head coaching job after the firing of Jimmy Lake. Washington started the season in the AP Top 25 and will end with four straight losses.
Washington State: The Cougars will wait to find out if they’re playing in the Pac-12 title game or if a bowl game is their next stop.
Washington: The Huskies are scheduled to open next season at home vs. Kent State.