WSU at Arizona State
Time: 12 p.m. PST Saturday, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Records: WSU (2-8, 0-7 in Pac-12); ASU (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12)
Last week: WSU lost to UCLA, 44-36; ASU lost to USC, 38-17
Last time: WSU defeated ASU in Pullman, 37-27, in 2011
The line: ASU by 21
What it means for WSU: The Cougars need to prove that last week’s offensive output – 524 yards worth – wasn’t a one-time thing. WSU showed a lot of heart against UCLA, turning a 37-7 halftime deficit into an 8-point loss that could have ended differently if not for a deluge of special-teams errors in the first half. Could this be the week the Cougars finally put it all together? That question has been asked repeatedly this season. There are two weeks left for WSU to answer in the affirmative.
What it means for ASU: After starting the season 5-1 and looking like a surprise contender in the Pac-12 South, the Sun Devils have lost four straight and are just trying to get bowl eligible. ASU’s offense has struggled a bit recently, cooling off after a hot start against Oregon State before managing just 17 points against USC (and that was a week after the Trojans allowed Oregon to score 62 points).
Key matchup: WSU’s offensive line vs. defensive tackle Will Sutton.
The Cougars’ offensive line has had trouble keeping opposing defenders away from the quarterback all season, and Sutton has established himself as one of the more dominant defensive linemen in the conference. In WSU’s last three games, it has allowed 22 sacks. Sutton ranks fourth in the nation in sacks per game with 1.17, and ranks third in tackles for loss.