1 Don’t let Ka’Deem Carey run wild. The Wildcats’ star running back averages 152 rushing yards per game and the Cougars should expect him to hit the century mark, like always. But WSU can’t allow Carey to dictate the game with his steady, methodical runs or they’ll be hard-pressed to keep Arizona’s offense off the field. While quarterback B.J. Denker has improved of late, the Wildcats offense starts and ends with Carey.
2 Put some points on the board. It may seem obvious, but WSU needs to get in the end zone. The program’s calling card is an Air Raid offense that’s supposed to guarantee shootouts, even in defeats. The Cougars have been held to 24 points or less in four of their past five games and that won’t do against the Wildcats.
3 Limit the turnovers. Washington State has turned the ball over 27 times this season, good enough for last in the conference. The Cougars can’t afford to give Rich Rodriguez extra possessions, and bad field position following turnovers has killed WSU in games this year.
4 Forget about the bowl game. The Cougars would dearly love to go to their first bowl game since 2003, and not just for the bowl gifts. As WSU attempts to rebuild its program, the exposure of a bowl game and the extra practices would be a big boost for the Cougars. This Arizona game is one of WSU’s last chances to pick up one of the two wins it needs for bowl eligibility, but if the team is concerned with external rewards it may play tentatively.