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First look: Colorado at Washington State

When/Where: Saturday, 7:45 p.m.; Martin Stadium, Pullman


Records: Colorado (4-7, 1-6 Pac-12), Washington State (7-3, 5-2)

Line: WSU by 15

Last time: Colorado defeated Washington State 35-34 in Pullman.

What it means for WSU: With four Pac-12 teams all sitting at 5-2 and only two weeks left in the regular season, the Cougars can guarantee themselves a chance at the Alamo or Foster Farms bowl with a win this weekend. This will also be a chance for the students to prove they can support the football team even with the chance to head home early for Thanksgiving, and for Mike Leach to finally beat Colorado, one of just two Pac-12 teams, along with Stanford, his WSU’s teams have yet to defeat.

What it means for CU: For awhile, the Buffaloes have been on the verge of turning the corner and finally beating a solid conference opponent. The Buffaloes faced both UCLA and USC over the last three weeks and lost by a total of just seven points. A win over the Cougars would give CU validation for its efforts, and set up a potentially interesting rivalry showdown at Utah with bowl possibilities on the line.

Key matchup: Colorado’s Nelson Spruce vs. WSU secondary

The Buffaloes don’t have many all-conference caliber players, but Spruce has been one of the best receivers in the Pac-12 for the last two years. With quarterback Cade Apsay making his first start, expect him to rely heavily on the fast-but-physical Spruce, who ranks No. 2 in the Pac-12 (behind WSU’s Gabe Marks) in receptions per game.

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