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Tue., Sept. 15, 2009

Time: 2 p.m. Saturday

Location: Martin Stadium

TV: None

The records: WSU (0-2, 0-1 in Pac-10); SMU (2-0, 1-0 in Conference USA)

Last week: SMU defeated UAB, 35-33; WSU lost to Hawaii, 38-20

Last time: First meeting

The line: SMU by 7

What it means for WSU

This might be the best chance to get a win for a while. After getting blitzed early by Hawaii last Saturday, the Cougars need to start quickly, play with emotion throughout and show themselves – and their supporters – they can win a game. There’s hope, at least from the offensive point of view as SMU yielded 6.9 yards per carry and 222 total rushing yards to UAB. The Blazers averaged a half-yard more per play (6.3 to 5.8) than did the Mustangs. A loss here and the Cougars could be looking at a bleak season.

What it means for SMU

Last season, the first under former Hawaii coach June Jones, the Mustangs won one game. They’ve already doubled that, with Saturday’s conference victory supplying hope for the future. That’s because SMU jumped out to an early lead on the road and found a way to survive – stopping a tying two-point conversion in the final seconds. A win would raise SMU’s record to 3-0 for the first time since 1984.

Key matchup

Washington State’s secondary vs. SMU’s receivers.

So it’s Run and Shoot, Part Two. And the Mustangs’ run-and-shoot offense is under the command of one of its instigators, Jones, who was Mouse Davis’ quarterback at Portland State when the offense earned its first headlines. Sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns last week, while WSU’s defense was being torched for 489 passing yards by Jones’ old school. Senior receiver Emmanuel Sanders (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) grabbed nine passes for 148 yards and a touchdown and junior Aldrick Robinson (5-10, 175) had seven receptions for 91 yards. The Cougars will be without safeties LeAndre Daniels (broken leg) and Tyree Toomer (pectoral muscle), possibly for the year. Safety Eric Block (concussion) and cornerback Aire Justin (leg) should be back.

- Vince Grippi


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