Washington Huskies, Washington State on the Rise as Stanford and Oregon Sink in Pac-12 North
There is changing of the guard underway in the Pac-12 North Division. In recent years, Oregon and Stanford have routinely been at the top of the standings, but this season they’ve fallen off in the first half of the season.
The Washington Huskies have clearly emerged as the front runner. Washington is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference and is ranked 5th in both the AP Poll and Coach’s Poll. The Huskies cemented their place in the Top 5 by beating then #7 Stanford 44-6 on September 30th, following that with a jaw dropping 70-21 crushing of Oregon in Eugene on October 8th.
Washington had lost 12 straight to the Ducks. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning had a hand in eight of the 10 touchdowns, throwing six touchdown passes and scoring two more himself. Running back Myles Gaskin ran for 197 yards on just 16 carries; the Huskies had 378 rushing and 304 receiving yards in the rout.
The Huskies’ neighbors to the east are also making noise in the Pac-12 North. Washington State beat Oregon 51-33 on October 1st, scoring six rushing touchdowns in the victory. The Cougars followed that up with a 42-16 drubbing of Stanford October 8th. Washington State dropped its first two games, both of which were non-conference affairs, but has won four straight since. They were 2-0 in conference action after the Stanford win.
Washington and Washington State annually play each other in their final regular season games. The Apple Cup game as it is called, may have higher stakes this year than usual.