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2 Minute Drill: WSU’s keys to victory on Saturday against UCLA

DON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF …

Dylan Hanser has played well at Rush linebacker in recent weeks, and his ascent comes at the right time for the Cougars. Hanser and Logan Tago have each started game at the spot, and the two rotate often no matter who starts. With Tago suspended, Hanser’s role will obviously increase and WSU needs him to be able to perform well in a fulltime role or the pass rush will suffer.

WHEN WSU HAS THE BALL …

Expect this to be one of those games where the Cougars turn to the run game, as they have to such great effect over their last three games. UCLA has one of the conference’s best pass defenses, but a fairly mediocre run defense, one which allows opposing teams 4.1 yards per carry. That, plus the likelihood of wind and rain on Saturday, creates favorable conditions for fans who want to see the Cougars running backs get a lot of work.

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL …

First, check out who is behind center. Josh Rosen is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Pac-12, but there is a decent chance he will not play. Whoever lines up at QB for the Bruins will have a tall task on their hands. The Cougars have the No. 2 run defense in the Pac-12, and the Bruins have the No. 12 rushing offense, so UCLA’s quarterback is going to have to throw the ball, rain and all.

DID YOU KNOW?

The last time WSU beat the Bruins in Pullman was 2007. That was also the last time the Cougars beat UCLA in consecutive meetings. WSU can end both streaks on Saturday.

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