Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

The pick: Why Washington State will beat Colorado State

PULLMAN – When Washington State takes the field at Canvas Stadium, the site of Saturday’s matchup with Colorado State, the Cougars will roll out an offense that hardly looks like the one that dismantled the Rams’ defense last fall.

The quarterback, Cam Ward, will be the same, as will senior receiver Lincoln Victor. Around those guys, though, are receivers who have yet to play a down of Power Five football: Transfers Josh Kelly, Kyle Williams, Isaiah Hamilton and DT Sheffield.

How they fare in their WSU debuts might well shape the outcome of this one. Here’s guessing they will pass with flying colors.

Central to that effort, though, will be how the Cougars’ offensive line holds up. Left tackle Esa Pole will make his first start, as will right guard Brock Dieu. How will they handle CSU’s pass rush?

That will start with defensive lineman Mohamed Kamara, a 2022 All-Mountain West second-team pick and a 2023 all-conference preseason selection. He’s playing his fifth year with the Rams .

“I think they’re really dominant on their defensive line,” WSU head coach Jake Dickert said. “I think they’re the No. 1 sack team in all of FBS last year. They sacked us seven times. (Kamara) was (No.) 42 last year, and he’s 8 this year. He’s a problem.”

Kamara was indeed a problem last fall – and for his whole career. A season ago, he totaled 8½ sacks for 53 yards, which ranked third in the Mountain West.

Still, Dickert was off in his math a tad. The Cougars sacked the Rams seven times, not the other way around. CSU registered three sacks in last season’s game. Plus, the Rams lineman responsible for two of those, CJ Onyechi, exhausted his eligibility, so he won’t be a factor on Saturday.

That should help WSU’s offensive line stave off CSU’s defensive line.

The Cougars’ playmakers will do enough damage to handle the rest.

The pick: Washington State 31, Colorado State 13