"They're all big, but this was really a big one."
Mike Leach isn't one to put more stock in one game or win than another. So even that modest assesment from a year ago of the significance of their win over Washington was telling.
A year ago Washington State entered the 2012 Apple Cup without a Pac-12 win and riding an eight-game losing streak. The Huskies built an 18-point fourth quarter advantage in a game that seemed destined for a boring finish.
Instead penalties and a late missed field goal set the stage for the Cougars' improbable comeback. Washington State forced overtime, where Toni Pole was on the receiving end of a Keith Price turnover. The Cougs cashed in with an Andrew Furney gamewinning field goal for their first victory over the Huskies since 2008.
This week Leach was back to his usual refrain of every game being important, but it is clear that not all resonate like his first Apple Cup appearance.
"I think it accelerated our offseason," Leach said. "It started to reveal some of the potential our team had."
"We can't do anything about it but prepare really well this week and put our best foot forward," Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said.
The Cougars haven't won back to back games over the Huskies since the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The first of those two also marked their most recent win in Seattle.
Kickoff Friday at Husky Stadium is at 12:30 p.m.