WSU matchup box
Washington State (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12), Colorado (0-3, 0-0)
Time: 1 p.m. at Martin Stadium
TV: FX Radio: ESPN (710 AM) The line: Washington State by 20
The setup: Colorado seeks its first victory after one of its worst starts in history. The Cougars attempt to get their third consecutive victory, something they haven’t done since 2006.
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What to expect: Colorado will try to ease pressure on quarterback Jordan Webb and Connor Wood by running true freshman Christian Powell, who has 199 yards rushing. CU is giving up 68 percent passing by opponents, so the Cougars will try to punish Buffs through the air early and often. Connor Halliday appears the likely starter at QB, as he has taken the majority of practice snaps with the first unit as Jeff Tuel continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Key matchup: Webb vs. WSU cornerbacks Damante Horton and Nolan Washington — Colorado has completed only 47 percent of its passes. Meanwhile, WSU coach Mike Leach has been challenging the secondary, which played poorly last week against UNLV.
Notes: It’s CU’s first trip to Pullman, as it was scheduled to play there Sept. 15, 2001 before 9/11 terrorism wiped it off the schedule and it was played instead in 2004 at then-Qwest Field. … Buffs get CB Greg Henderson, a starter last year, back from an ankle sprain. He was victimized on Marquess Wilson’s 63-yard catch for the winning score with 1:10 left in Boulder in 2011 in WSU’s 31-27 victory. … Of second-year FBS coaches, CU’s Jon Embree is the only one with an 0-3 record, and he’s been criticized by many after a 69-14 defeat at Fresno State in which the Buffs fell behind 35-0 after one quarter. … Wilson, who has had an inconsistent start to 2012, is 145 yards from Brandon Gibson’s WSU career receiving-yards record of 2,756. … CU leads the series 4-3.
Injuries: Colorado — C Brad Cotner (toe), S Ray Polk (ankle), LB Doug Rippy (knee), out; CB Greg Henderson (ankle), probable. WSU — QB Jeff Tuel (knee), questionable; slot Rickey Galvin (arm), out.
Upset brewing? WSU has been inconsistent, but Colorado has been downright bad so far, and the young Buffs’ confidence has to be lacking.
Prediction: Washington State 38, Colorado 14.