Breaking down the WSU-Colorado matchup. Here's what the Cougars will have to do to win on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. on ESPN.

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No. 15 Cougars (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (4-3, 1-3)

When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:45 p.m.

Where: Martin Stadium | Pullman, Wash.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 710 AM

Stream: WatchESPN

Line: WSU (minus-10)

 

WSU Players to Watch

QB Luke Falk – 10 pass TD

RB Jamal Morrow – 7 TD

WR Isaiah Johnson-Mack – 53.6 rec yards/game

DT Hercules Mata’afa – 12 TFL

LB Jahad Woods – 4.5 TFL

 

Colorado Players to Watch

QB Steven Montez – 12 pass TD

RB Phillip Lindsay – 10 rush TD

WR Bryce Bobo –5 rec TD

CB Isaiah Oliver – 9 pass breakups

LB Drew Lewis – 10.7 tackles per game

 

WSU’s Keys to the Game

Rebound and start fast

How the Cougars start off this game could be indicative of the end result. Coming off a tough night at Cal that ended WSU’s hopes of an unbeaten season, the Cougars need to start fast and show that they’ve rebounded in a positive way. Especially in the case of quarterback Luke Falk, who’s coming off a career-high five interceptions.

Protect the quarterback

The Cougars’ offensive line, like the rest of the team, is coming off its worst game of the year. WSU allowed nine sacks of Falk against Cal. That cannot be allowed to happen again. The offensive line needs to win the battle in the trenches to give the Cougars a fighting chance.

Contain Lindsay

Colorado’s most dynamic player, running back Phillip Lindsay, enters this game averaging 142.1 rush yards per game and he’s scored 11 of the Buff’s 25 touchdowns. He’ll be a true test for a WSU defense that let him overrun them last year in Boulder. Freshman inside linebackers Justus Rogers and Jahad Woods will have to vigilant.

Get the run game going

Saturday night projects to be cold and rainy, and the Buffs rank ninth in the Pac-12 in rush defense, allowing 193.9 yards per game. So what better way for WSU to attack than to re-introduce the three-headed running back monster of Jamal Morrow, James Williams and Gerard Wicks. Morrow has been WSU’s most effective back of late, averaging 88.7 all-purpose yards per game. But Williams has had his moments too, and Wicks has been underutilized. Could this be the game in which WSU re-establishes its ground game?

 

Prediction: WSU 31, Colorado 20