SEATTLE -- Washington usually has more than a month to savor a win over Washington State in the Apple Cup.
This time, the No. 12 Huskies have a game against No. 1 Miami in less than a week.
''I'm excited as I can be about it,'' Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said of his team's 26-14 win over the Cougars on Saturday. ''But we don't get to revel in it very long.''
It's the first time the Huskies didn't end their regular season against the Cougars since 1948 -- 14 years before the cross-state rivals first played for the Apple Cup trophy. Washington's game against Miami, originally planned for Sept. 15, was rescheduled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Washington (8-2, 6-2 Pac-10) regrouped a week after a 49-24 loss at Oregon State to win its fourth straight Apple Cup. The Huskies moved up four spots in this week's Associated Press poll while Washington State (9-2, 6-2) dropped from No. 9 to No. 15.
The Cougars came into the game with a chance at the Pac-10 title and a top-tier bowl game. Now, they likely will be playing in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas, or the inaugural Seattle Bowl on Dec. 27. With Washington State's loss, No. 6 Oregon clinched at least a tie for the conference championship and the Pac-10's Bowl Championship Series berth.
The Huskies could be invited to the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, but first they have to deal with Miami.
''You play this game for the big games,'' linebacker Ben Mahdavi said.
The Huskies defeated then-No. 4 Miami a year ago at Husky Stadium. It was the Hurricanes' only loss, and cost them a chance to play for the national championship.
They're 9-0 this season and could lose the chance to play in the national title game again if they don't beat Washington.
The Huskies know going into next Saturday's game in the Orange Bowl that Miami is still plenty mad. The Hurricanes beat Syracuse 59-0 last Saturday.
''We're really excited to elevate our program to the point where we think we should be as far as respect nationally,'' Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens said. ''We'll be more ready but they'll be more ready, too.''
To beat the Hurricanes again, the Huskies need another big day from Cody Pickett and Reggie Williams -- and their defense.
Pickett completed 25 of 38 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown and the freshman receiver had his best game yet with 11 catches for 203 yards.
''My dad told me big-time players play their best in big-time games,'' Williams said.
The Huskies' defense held the top receiver in the conference, Nakoa McElrath, to only one catch until the final five minutes of the game and flustered Washington State's top running back, too. Dave Minnich had just 33 yards on 15 carries.
Washington State also committed four turnovers, including two fumbles forced by Greg Carothers, and couldn't score three times with first-and-goal.
''That is the difference in the ballgame right there,'' quarterback Jason Gesser said. ''We shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers.''
Neuheisel likely will stress getting the Huskies' running game back on track this week. Washington carried 41 times for only 79 yards against Washington State.
''It's a heck of an opportunity to go down there and go up against the best,'' center Kyle Benn said of Miami. ''You can't ask for anything more.''
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