Breaking down the WSU-Arizona matchup. Here's what the Cougars will have to do to win on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

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No. 15 Cougars (7-1 overall, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. Arizona (5-2, 3-1)

When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: 710AM


Line: WSU (-2.5)


WSU Players to Watch

QB Luke Falk – 22 pass TD

WR Tavares Martin – 7 rec TD

WR Renard Bell – 17.1 ypc

LB Jahad Woods – 4.5 TFL

SS Jalen Thompson – 49 tackles


Arizona Players to Watch

QB Khalil Tate – 156 rush ypg

RB J.J. Taylor – 2 rush TD

WR Shun Brown – 3 rec TD

LB Kylan Wilborn – 5 sacks

CB Jace Whittaker – 8 pass breakups


WSU’s Keys to the Game

Stop the run

There’s really one central key to this game. Stop, or at least contain, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate. Tate this week became the first player since former USC quarterback Rodney Peete 1988 to be named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. He’s accounted for 1,162 offensive yards in Arizona’s last three games, and is 3-0 as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback. WSU managed to contain Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay last week, but Tate will be their biggest rushing challenge yet.

Get Luke Falk back on track

WSU quarterback Luke Falk had a tough game in some nasty weather conditions last week. It’s not easy to air it out in a torrential downpour, and Falk completed only 50 percent of his passes for 197 passing yards and three TDs – a pedestrian stat line by his standards. There’s a good chance he’ll push his completion percentage back up this week. Falk has generally fared well against the Arizona defense. He went 32 of 35 for 311 yards and four touchdowns last year. Tavares Martin Jr. is back this week after a one-game suspension, and true freshman Tay Martin is coming off his breakout game. Falk will have plenty of enticing targets to throw to.

Exploit Arizona’s defensive vulnerabilities

The Wildcats have given up 11 rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks. Nine of these have come from within 10 yards of the goal line. If the Cougars can get Jamal Morrow, James Williams and Gerard Wicks going on the ground, they should be able to score.

Minimize turnovers

WSU has had nine fumbles in its last three games, and five of these were recovered by the other team. The Cougars need to clean up these little sloppy mistakes that have frequently derailed offensive drives.


Prediction: WSU 28, Arizona 24