First played in 1900, it is traditionally the final game of the regular season and formerly took place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving. Since 1946, it has been held in odd years at Husky Stadium in Seattle (except 2011 at CenturyLink Field), and WSU has been the home team during even years, with games played in Pullman at Rogers Field (1946, 1948, 1954) and Martin Stadium (since 1982), with the other fifteen contests in Spokane at Joe Albi Stadium. With the extension of the college football regular season to 12 games in 2006, the game is often played at a later date. Since 2011, it has been held on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but was played a day later in 2014. First awarded in 1962, the Apple Cup trophy goes to the winner. The Huskies lead the series 70–32–6.
From 1934 and through 1961, the teams played for the "Governor's Trophy". The game was renamed the "Apple Cup" in 1962 because of Washington being a major producer of apples.
With the lengthening of the college football regular season schedule to 12 games in 2006, there was a movement to change the date of the game from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the weekend following, which would have allowed a bye week during the season. In 2006, both teams played 12 straight weeks without a break, leaving the two teams noticeably fatigued. For the first time, the 2007 game was played the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It returned to the Saturday before Thanksgiving in 2008 in Pullman.
The media joked that the 2008 game was the "Crapple Cup" and "full of worms," because 1–10 Washington State played and beat 0–11 Washington. The game returned to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009 in Seattle and the 2010 game was played on December 4 in Pullman.
From 1950 to 1980 (except for 1954), the WSU home games in the series were played at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. The Cougars won three of these sixteen games in Spokane (1958, 1968, 1972). In 1910, the WSU home game was played in Spokane's Recreation Park.
The first game was held in 1900 and resulted in a 5–5 tie, and through the 2015 game, the Huskies lead the series 70-32-6.