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Sports >  WSU football

First look: (14) Washington State at (24) Stanford

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 22, 2018

Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside points to the fans after scoring on a 4-yard reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in South Bend, Ind. (Carlos Osorio / AP)
Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside points to the fans after scoring on a 4-yard reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in South Bend, Ind. (Carlos Osorio / AP)

What is it? No. 14 Washington State (6-1, 3-1) goes on the road for the fourth time this season to play No. 24 Stanford (5-2, 3-1).

Where is it? Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California.

When is it? Kickoff is 4 p.m. Saturday.

Where can I watch it? The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

Who is favored? Stanford opened as a 4 1/2-point favorite, but the line was down to three points as of Monday afternoon.

How did they fare last week? WSU extended its home win streak to 11 games, holding off No. 12 Oregon 34-20 Saturday at Martin Stadium. Stanford also took a big lead early, then hung on late to beat Arizona State 20-13 in Tempe on Thursday night.

Why WSU will win: Stanford’s defense, traditionally strong across the board, has been plenty vulnerable against the pass this season, and the Cardinal haven’t seen an opponent that throws the ball with as much volume or success as the Cougars. Among Pac-12 teams, only Oregon State ranks lower than Stanford in passing yards per game allowed (252.1), although the Cardinal have only conceded seven passing touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Stanford has been one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the Pac-12 this year at 24.9 points per game, only ahead of UCLA, and running back Bryce Love has rushed for just 348 yards in five games.

Why Stanford will win: Even considering Love’s lack of production and the offensive numbers listed above, Stanford’s offense has the ability to be dynamic. Quarterback K.J. Costello is a much more developed version of the player the Cougars saw in Pullman last season and currently ranks third in the Pac-12 behind WSU’s Gardner Minshew and Oregon’s Justin Herbert with 263.1 yards per game and 13 touchdowns. The Cougars be wary of his favorite target, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who’s a big target in the red zone with his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and has been on the receiving end of nine of Costello’s 13 touchdowns this season.

What happened last time? On Washington State’s Senior Day, the Cougars held Stanford’s Heisman Trophy hopeful, Love, to his lowest rushing total of the season, becoming the only team to keep him under 100 yards all year. Love rushed 16 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, while WSU constantly denied Stanford’s passing attack, holding Costello to 9-of-20 passing for 105 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Underneath light snow showers, WSU’s Luke Falk capped his final game at Martin Stadium with an inspired 11-play, 95-yard touchdown drive, completing throws to four receivers and hitting Jamire Calvin for an 11-yard touchdown that gave the Cougars a 24-21 lead. Frankie Luvu’s interception with 15 seconds to go sealed win No. 8 for WSU.

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