Apple Cup Preview
Nov. 13, 2000
SEATTLE - The No. 6 Washington Huskies (9-1, 6-1 Pac-10), hoping to represent the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl, will wrap up their schedule against Washington State (4-6, 2-5) this Saturday in the renewal of the Apple Cup.
Washington was fifth in Monday's Bowl Championship Series rankings behind Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State and Florida, but the Huskies are a long shot to play for the title.
"If we can win this Saturday, it will be interesting to watch," Neuheisel said. "We're excited about where we sit.
"But our focus has got to be on this Saturday. I just don't want us thinking about anything other than the Cougars."
Washington will be trying to win its seventh straight Pac-10 game after a 35-28 victory over UCLA at Husky Stadium.
If the Huskies beat the Cougars and Oregon State defeats Oregon on Saturday, Washington will earn its first trip to Pasadena since 1993.
It won't be easy.
While Washington has won a bunch of close games, Washington State has dropped a bunch of them. The Huskies had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to post five of their Pac-10 wins. The Cougars lost three overtime games.
And Washington isn't healthy at tailback. Freshman Rich Alexis is listed as the starter this week although he sprained his left shoulder in the first quarter of the UCLA game. He returned in the second half and finished with 127 yards on 21 carries against the Bruins.
Alexis will be backed up by Braxton Cleman, who also is "nicked up," according to Neuheisel.
Paul Arnold, who started at tailback in Washington's first six games, is expected to be sidelined for the fourth week in a row because of a bad back.
Willie Hurst will be missing this week. He broke his right collarbone on a 62-yard run to open the second half against UCLA. The Huskies hope to have Hurst back for a bowl game.
By JIM COUR