UW defensive coach Jimmy Lake praises Luke Falk, who Huskies have held in check

The Huskies’ co-defensive coordinator says quarterback’s experience has been key in making him a better player this season.

“This is our favorite game of the year because anytime an offense, when we know they’re going to throw the ball 60 times, it really makes game-planning easy. They did a better job — they got four more points than they had the last three years. But this is our favorite game of the year, and I hope (the Cougars) continually do exactly what they’re doing because this is an awesome game to play.”

— Jimmy Lake

UW co-defensive coordinator

apple cup

WSU @ UW, 5 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 13

Washington co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake knows Washington State will be motivated — by a multitude of factors — coming into the Apple Cup on Saturday night.

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And Lake knows there’s a good chance Luke Falk will make Washington’s defensive secondary look silly at times. That’s the nature of Washington State’s “genius” offense, as Lake described it.

Lake, indeed, was particularly complimentary of Falk and the No. 14 Cougars (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) on Tuesday, four days before the No. 15 Huskies (9-2, 6-2) are the hosts for 110th Apple Cup.

A year ago in Pullman, Lake rankled some WSU fans when he told The Times that the Apple Cup was the “favorite game of the year” for the UW defense. That was in the moments after UW’s 45-17 victory over the Cougars, which secured the Huskies’ first trip to the Pac-12 title game and got them a step closer to their first College Football Playoff berth.

That UW’s “Death Row” defense has shut down WSU’s “Air Raid” so effectively, so emphatically the past three seasons is a major theme in the buildup to the game this week. Washington is the only Pac-12 team Falk has not beaten in his record-breaking career.

Lake wasn’t much interested in revisiting the Huskies’ previous success against the Cougars.

“Those years are in the past,” he said. “It’s 2017 now and if we don’t execute on Saturday, it’s going to be a hard one on us. All our guys are just preparing right now to try to keep these guys in front of us. We know they’re going to get their yards. They’re going to get their yards. They do every single year. We just have to keep them out of the end zone.”

For the fourth consecutive season, Washington State has the league’s best passing offense. For the second…

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