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Sports >  WSU football

First look: Arizona at (8) Washington State

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 12, 2018

Arizona safety Tristan Cooper (31) celebrates with JB Brown after defeating Oregon 44-15 during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Oregon 44-15. (Rick Scuteri / AP)
Arizona safety Tristan Cooper (31) celebrates with JB Brown after defeating Oregon 44-15 during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Oregon 44-15. (Rick Scuteri / AP)

What is it? Coming off a bye week, Arizona (5-5, 4-3) will look to lock down a bowl berth when it visits No. 8 Washington State (9-1, 6-1).

Where is it? Martin Stadium in Pullman.

When is it? Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where can I watch it? ESPN will carry the live broadcast.

Who is favored? Washington State was a 10-point favorite as of Tuesday morning.

How did they fare last week? WSU put together a dominant second half to run away from Colorado 31-7 at Folsom Field in Boulder. Arizona had a bye week after beating the Buffaloes the week prior.

Why Arizona will win: WSU’s defensive players and coaches will obviously dedicate plenty of film study this week to Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, but they ought to spent the same amount of time preparing for running back J.J. Taylor. The Wildcats’ redshirt sophomore has been sizzling the last three weeks and comes into Saturday’s contest having rushed for 558 yards on 89 carries with three touchdowns in his last three games.

Why WSU will win: WSU carries a 12-game win streak into Saturday’s matchup and the frigid conditions at Martin Stadium – temperatures could drop into the 30s by the 7:30 kickoff – could hamper an Arizona team that’s traveling from the Pac-12’s warmest climate. Arizona ranks 10th in the conference in total defense (417 yards per game) and ninth in pass defense (248.7 ypg).

What happened last time? Washington State’s offense spent most of the game playing catch-up when the Cougars and Wildcats met last season in Tucson. After Arizona jumped out to a 20-7 lead, Mike Leach replaced Luke Falk with Tyler Hilinski and the backup unleashed 45 passes for 509 yards and two touchdowns while running for another two, but also threw four interceptions. Still, the Wildcats won it 58-37, handing the Cougars their second loss of the season.

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