No. 20 Washington State (2-0) at Houston (1-1)
6:15 p.m. Friday, NRG Stadium (home of the NFL’s Houston Texans)
LATEST LINE: WSU by 9
WSU key players
QB Anthony Gordon: 60 of 74, 884 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT
RB Max Borghi: 162 yards rushing (9.5 avg. per carry), 3 TD
WR Brandon Arconado: 14 receptions, 193 yards, 1 TD
LB Jahad Woods: 16 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Houston key players
QB D’Eriq King: 29 of 53, 306 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB Kyle Porter: 33 rushes, 160 yards, 1 TD
WR Marquez Stevenson, 10 receptions, 105 yards, 1 TD
LB Grant Stuard, 22 tackles, 2 TFL
After two home games against overmatched teams, WSU gets its first true challenge. Are the Cougars ready? Winning on the road is never easy, but WSU was 5-1 away from home last season.
Stop the run
Houston has rushed for 477 yards in its first two games, and WSU allowed Northern Colorado to rush for 216 yards last week. Houston quarterback D’Eriq King, a dual-threat player who has rushed for 102 yards, and running back Kyle Porter will likely test the WSU rushing defense early and often.
Points, points, points
It seems unlikely that WSU will be able to keep Houston from scoring at least two or three TDs, so the offense will need to continue to be productive against a suspect Houston defense. This game could be similar to Houston’s season opener when it lost 49-31 at Oklahoma.
Can’t forget the sight of Army running up and down the field in a 70-14 bowl win over Houston last year. It’s a new season and a new coach, but Oklahoma put up 686 yards against Houston a couple weeks ago. It will be harder than the past two weeks, but WSU moves to 3-0. Prediction: WSU 48, Houston 31.