What the 25th ranked WSU Cougars have to do to beat Arizona on Saturday

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No. 25 WSU Cougars vs. Arizona

WSU Players to watch

QB: Luke Falk – 24 TD

WR Gabe Marks –9 TD

WR River Cracraft – 12.5 ypc

FS Shalom Luani – 3 INT

LB Peyton Pelluer – 49 tackles

 

Arizona Players to watch

QB Brandon Dawkins – 6 TD

RB Samajie Grant – 3.4 yards per rush

WR Trey Griffey – 2 TD

CB Jace Whittaker – 10 pbu

S Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles – 51 tackles

 

TV info: 1 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

 

WSU’s Keys to the Game

Run up the score

Arizona’s offense is broken at the moment. What better way to exploit that than to rack up the points. The Wildcats are averaging 24 points a game while WSU’s offense is averaging 39.8. If the Cougars can get into an offensive rhythm early, Arizona will not be able to keep up.

Come out ready

It’s worth mentioning that WSU’s offense has not scored a first quarter touchdown in almost a month – its last first quarter touchdown was a 5-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk to Tavares Martin against Stanford on Oct. 8. It’s about time the Cougars proved that they can get out the gates fast.

Disrupt the Wildcats’ quarterbacks

It’s unclear as to which quarterback Rich Rodriguez will start against WSU – the athletic Brandon Dawkins? Or the more experienced Anu Solomon. Either way, both quarterbacks struggled last week against Stanford, when UA had five – yes, five – pass completions. This is a perfect setting for WSU’s retooled defensive line to build its confidence with Robert Barber no longer in the lineup. Expect defensive end Hercules Mata’afa to have a big day,

Finish

Sounds simple, huh? In their last few games – Oregon State comeback excepted – the Cougs have demonstrated a distressing tendency to allow their opponents to hang around and score late. It’s time to break that trend.

Prediction: WSU 48, Arizona 14