As always, our postgame tale of the tape.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Dwayne Washington continued his tear, ripping off touchdown runs of 51 and 60 yards against a pretty weak WSU defense. Washington finished with 135 yards rushing on just 16 carries, as the Huskies favored the pass in this game with the Cougars blitzing frequently and leaving their cornerbacks isolated against the Huskies' receivers. It was Washington's third consecutive 100-plus yard game, and he's now rushed for touchdowns of 60, 51, 68 and 66 yards in UW's last three games. He also had a 1-yard touchdown run at Arizona, so that gives him five scores in three games. The season is almost over, but the sophomore seems to be trending upward.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Chris Petersen said the key to the game was the pass rush the Huskies generated with their front four, and that group finished with four sacks -- 1.5 by Andrew Hudson, one by Joe Mathis, and a half-sack each for Danny Shelton, Evan Hudson and Hau'oli Kikaha. Throw in a crucial forced fumble by Budda Baker and recovery by John Timu, plus interceptions by John Ross III and Kevin King, and it's a little hard to pick one guy. Timu and Baker led the team in tackles with seven each, for what it's worth. So, we'll give this one to the entire unit.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- That fumble by Vince Mayle, after a 20-yard gain with 1:36 left in the half, ended up being pretty huge. Baker forced the fumble, Timu recovered it, and the Huskies went 27 yards in five plays to score a touchdown -- Cyler Miles to Kasen Williams -- with 50 seconds left in the half. That gave UW a 14-0 lead, and the Huskies scored two plays after the opening kickoff of the second half to go up 21-0.
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STAT OF THE GAME -- The Huskies have lived off turnovers all season, and tonight was no different. They forced three, and Miles' interception to Cyrus Coen was their only giveaway. WSU's 0-for-3 showing on fourth-down tries in the first quarter was also important.
QUOTABLE -- "This is a lot our first times playing in this kind of weather, man. We had to have fun. Get hyper, keep warm. It was a lot of fun." -- Huskies defensive tackle Danny Shelton
WHAT IT MEANS -- UW will finish with eight or more wins for the second consecutive season. That hasn't happened since 2000-01, and with a bowl game upcoming, the Huskies have a chance to reach nine wins in back-to-back years, too. Granted, the Huskies haven't defeated a team with a winning record -- California and Oregon State each lost today to finish 5-7, while Illinois sits at 6-6 -- and they obviously needed 13 games to get to eight wins. But they can still feel good about legitimately playing their best in their final three games. Petersen also earned his 100th career victory tonight, reaching that mark faster than any active FBS coach (117 games). Miles and the rest of the passing game look sharper. Dwayne Washington is starting to look like the back the previous coaching staff thought he could be. And UW's star-studded defense is seemingly going out on the right note. Winning five Apple Cups in the last six years -- after losing four of five before that -- also probably rates as an achievement.
UP NEXT -- Stay tuned. The Cactus Bowl (Jan. 2 in Tempe) is in play. It will depend upon Arizona's performance in the Pac-12 title game, and whether the Pac-12 finishes with two teams in the top 12 of the College Football Playoff rankings. If that's the case, it would seem the Huskies are destined for the Cactus. If not, they're likely headed to a non-Pac-12 affiliated bowl. So, we'll see.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple