No. 19 Washington State (3-0) vs UCLA (0-3)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Martin Stadium
LATEST LINE: WSU by 18
WSU key players
QB Anthony Gordon: 96 of 122, 1,324 yards, 12 TDs, 2 INT
RB Max Borghi: 202 yards rushing (7.8 avg. per carry), 4 TD
WR Brandon Arconado: 23 receptions, 308 yards, 1 TD
LB Jahad Woods: 24 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
UCLA key players
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson: 47 of 87, 556 passing yards, 5 TD, 4 INT
RB Joshua Kelley, 33 rushes, 109 yards, 1 TD
RB/WR Demetric Felton, 164 yards rushing, 171 yards receiving
LB Krys Barnes, 26 tackles, 3 TFL
Jump on the Bruins early
If the Cougars can take control early, they could be on their way to an easy win against a team that would surely start thinking, “Here we go again,” after three bad losses, including a 48-14 defeat at home last week against Oklahoma. If the Bruins start fast, the Cougars could find themselves in quite a battle.
Win the turnover battle
All the stats point to WSU winning the turnover battle, but of course games aren’t played on paper. UCLA has turned the ball over eight times, while its opponents have had two turnovers. WSU has forced nine turnovers and had just two. And here is a remarkable stat: The Cougars have forced 11 fumbles and recovered seven, while not fumbling the ball once themselves. If the trends continue, it’s hard to see how UCLA wins this game.
Make them pass
UCLA will run the ball a lot, and WSU has had some issues with run defense. If the Cougars can make the Bruins pass, it will likely be a tough day for the UCLA offense.
It wasn’t just coach-speak when WSU coach Mike Leach said UCLA has a talented roster. But despite that talent, the Bruins have suffered three straight ugly losses. If the Cougars can avoid looking ahead to the game against Utah, this should be a comfortable win. Prediction: WSU 37, UCLA 20.