No. 19 Washington State looks to stay in Pac-12 contention
No. 19 Washington State (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12, CFP No. 19) at Utah (5-4, 2-4), Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Line: Washington State by 1.
Series record: Tied 7-7
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Cougars have their eye on a Pac-12 championship and Utah represents the last obstacle before an Apple Cup showdown against No. 9 Washington in the regular-season finale. The Huskies have just one loss, so the Huskies needs to win this week for a chance to beat Washington and win the Pac-12 North. A loss clinches the division title for the Huskies. The Utes are simply looking to become bowl eligible.
Utah run offense vs. Washington State run defense. The Utes are at their best when the run game is rolling and they broke a four-game losing streak last week with a season-high 272 rushing yards on a season-high 50 carries powered by RB Zack Moss and QB Tyler Huntley. But that was against a UCLA team with one of the worst run defenses in the nation. The Cougars’ 2017 rise has been fortified with its best defense in the last decade and their 136.4 rushing yards allowed per game ranks No. 35 in the country.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington State: QB Luke Falk. The reigning offensive player of the week became the Pac-12′s all-time leader in passing yards last week and is expected to be an early-round NFL draft pick. The senior’s 2,913 passing yards ranks No. 6 in the nation.
Utah: Huntley. The sophomore is the focal point of the Utes’ new fast-paced, pass-first scheme. His athleticism and run ability is what makes the offense hum when it gets going. Huntley is 5-2 as a starter and has thrown for 235.4 yards per game with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
FACTS $ FIGURES
Utah lost S Marquise Blair for the season last week with a lower leg injury. He is third on the team with 48 tackles. ... Falk needs two touchdown passes to break the Pac-12 career record. The Logan, Utah native will play his last regular season game in the state on Saturday. ... Washington State went 7-0 at home, but is 1-2 on the road. ... The Cougars’ 104.20 pass efficiency defense ranks No. 10 in the nation.
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