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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

First Look at WSU’s game Saturday at Arizona State

When/where: Saturday, 10 a.m., Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

TV: Pac-12 Washington

Records: Washington St. (3-7, 2-5); ASU (8-2, 5-2)

Last year: ASU defeated WSU 55-21 in Pullman

Line: ASU by 16.5

What it means for WSU: The Cougars want to keep the good vibes going. Washington State is playing carefree football since USC eliminated it from bowl consideration and the Cougars appear to have unearthed a very good quarterback in redshirt freshman Luke Falk. The former backup has played well but has yet to face a defensive test like he will this weekend in the desert against an angry ASU team. If he plays as well against the Sun Devils as he did against USC and Oregon State, the Cougars will have really found a gem in their former walk-on quarterback.

What it means for ASU: Just a few days ago ASU controlled its own destiny, not just for a spot in the Pac-12 championship game but also for a berth in the inaugural playoffs. Oregon State’s upset on Saturday changed all that. The playoffs are no longer in the cards for the Sun Devils, but winning the Pac-12 South is still a possibility. ASU will need UCLA to lose to either Stanford or USC and it can’t lose another game.

Key matchup: Jaelen Strong vs. Charleston White

The Cougars will be without Daquawn Brown for the first half of Saturday’s game because the cornerback was ejected for targeting in last week’s game against OSU. That makes the difficult task of stopping ASU receiver Jaelen Strong even tougher for the WSU secondary. Strong is a physical player who is near the top of the conference in most receiving statistics. Without Brown it will be up to White at cornerback to hold Strong in check and not allow the ASU passing attack to put up too many points before Brown can return.

Jacob Thorpe