PULLMAN – The newest member of Washington State’s 2017 recruiting class, weakside linebacker Faavae Faavae, made his decision public on the “Petros and Money” show on Los Angeles radio.
If that seems like a bold move for a player who will not sign his National Letter of Intent for another three months, it is only because Faavae has put so much thought into his decision.
When asked why he chose the Cougars over suitors such as Arizona State, Colorado, Louisville and Oklahoma State, Faavae lists three primary factors.
“The first was academics. Going to Washington State, the business programs are second to none. I couldn’t let that slip away,” Faavae said. “Second is playing as a true freshman, getting in there early and playing. And lastly is relationships with entrepreneurs and business people.”
Faavae cited Paul Allen, who spent two years studying at WSU, as an example of someone with ties to the school who has achieved success in the business world, and noted the school’s relative proximity to the headquarters of Microsoft and other large corporations.
The senior at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, will take an official visit to Washington State on Dec. 9, presumably while the Cougars (5-2, 4-0 Pac-12) are preparing for a bowl game.
In addition to his three main reasons for accepting WSU’s offer of a football scholarship, Faavae acknowledged that the team’s current five-game winning streak indicated to him that the program is heading in a positive direction.
Utes will have spoilers’ role
This weekend against No. 5 Washington, No. 17 Utah will play either spoiler or kingmaker. The Huskies (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) are the Pac-12’s only team with a realistic chance of playing in the College Football Playoff.
And the Utes (7-1, 4-1) are the first team the Huskies have played who could reasonably make for an impressive victory. Formerly noteworthy victories over Oregon and Stanford are diluted by those teams’ combined 2-7 Pac-12 record.
UW happened to play Rutgers in a year when the Scarlet Knights are among the worst teams in football, and that was their only nonconference opponent that might have looked like a tough out when the game was scheduled.
The Huskies have made the most of their weak schedule, and currently rank first in the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (48.3 points per game) and defense (14.6 ppg). They have only had one close game – an overtime win at Arizona, which is currently winless in Pac-12 games.
Of course, it is a big game for the Utes as well. A win over Washington could propel Utah into the top 10 nationally, and give it a small chance at a playoff berth. In order to beat the conference behemoth, the Utes will study what worked for the Wildcats.
“It was pretty apparent that they were able to run the football,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. “They had over 300 yards rushing and that’s the formula for success. We pride ourselves on running the football and if we can do it as well as Arizona did, we’ve got a chance.”
The Utes’ running game is looking a lot healthier the last two weeks, thanks to the return of running back Joe Williams. Williams had retired from football, but returned after four weeks and has rushed for 511 yards in a pair of wins.
Without Williams’ 332 rushing yards in the team’s 52-45 win over UCLA last week, it is doubtful the Utes win the game and remain in pole position in the Pac-12 South.
New starting QB for Stanford
Stanford junior Keller Chryst will make his first collegiate start at quarterback at Arizona on Saturday, coach David Shaw said. He replaces senior Ryan Burns, who went 4-3 in seven starts.
That’s a lot of burgers
They say that an army marches on its stomach, and the Colorado Buffaloes also need full bellies to stampede. While the team’s 10-5 win at Stanford this weekend may have left the fans and players feeling somewhat unsatisfied, the Buffaloes still got a warm meal after the game.
According to ESPN’s David Lombardi, the Buffaloes went to In-N-Out where they spent $780 to order 165 Double-Doubles and 165 orders of fries.
The tradition of visiting the popular California fast-food chain did not start with the Buffaloes. Former Oregon State coach Mike Riley used to take his team to In-N-Out whenever it won and there was one nearby.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.