Apple Cup Decision Should Come Soon, Enabling UW to Regroup If Necessary
Pullman, Washington, expects snow flurries on Wednesday night.
After that, a socially distanced Thanksgiving.
On Friday night, who knows?
The 113th Apple Cup became a big question mark once the Washington State football team pulled out of this past weekend's game at Stanford following a COVID-19 program flare-up and subsequent contact tracing and quarantining.
The Cougars put nine players in isolation, including freshman quarterback sensation Jayden de Laura, and informed the Pac-12 it didn't have the minimum number of bodies to make the trip to the Bay Area.
If nothing changes for WSU, the University of Washington will have to fend for itself and find another game against someone in or out of the league.
"I haven't heard anything different about our game," Husky coach Jimmy Lake said after beating Arizona 44-27 Saturday night. "What I've heard is we're playing next Friday."
Definitive word on the Apple Cup should come soon on whether WSU can proceed with the in-state rivalry at Martin Stadium.
"We’ll begin that process on Sunday to see where we are with our roster," Cougars athletic director Pat Chun said. ”It’s hard to speculate right now.”
The UW and WSU have played a football game every year since the end of World War II. The last time they missed each other was in 1943 and 1944, when the Cougars didn't field a team as fighting raged overseas while the Huskies played on with very limited schedules.
The Pac-12 expects each member school to have 53 scholarship players ready to play, including a quarterback, seven offensive linemen and four defensive linemen to meet minimum competition requirements.
Just this past week, the Pac-12 gave its approval for schools that lose league opponents to the virus to seek alternative games against non-conference teams, strongly suggesting these match-ups take place in the region.
Should the Huskies take to the road elsewhere, they need to have plenty of time to deal with the logistics involved. This includes finding a hotel with rooms for 140-160 people, six busses to transport everyone in line with social distancing guidelines and two days of meal service.
"It's one person to a row of seats," Lake said of the bus restrictions. "And no one can sit near the driver."
Such is the world of Husky football during a pandemic, which is a continual scramble just to get on the field.
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