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First Look: WSU at ASU

Here is staff writer Jacob Thorpe’s first look at Saturday’s game between Washington State and Arizona State.

What is it: Washington State (4-2, 3-0 Pac-12) tries to keep its winning streak alive as it heads to the desert to face Arizona State (5-2, 2-2).

Where is it: The recently renovated Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

When is it: Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Who is favored: The Cougars are favored by a touchdown (and extra point).

Why WSU will win: WSU is one of the hottest teams in the west right now, while ASU is reeling. The Sun Devils are coming off a 40-16 loss at Colorado and quarterback Manny Wilkins was hit 11 times in his first game back from a leg injury.

Why ASU will win: The Sun Devils almost never lose at home. Since Todd Graham took over as head coach in 2012, ASU has won 80.7 percent of its games in Sun Devil Stadium.

What happened last time: The Cougars came back from an early deficit to beat the Sun Devils 38-24 in Pullman.

Three things to know:

1. WSU has not won in Tempe since 2001.

2. ASU running back Kalen Ballage tied an NCAA record by scoring eight touchdowns in his team’s 68-55 win over Texas Tech.

3. Saturday’s game will pit the Pac-12’s top two rushing defenses against each other. WSU currently ranks first in the conference, allowing just 104.5 rushing yards per game, while ASU allows 121.6.

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