No. 15 Wazzu tries to corral elusive Tate in Pac-12 matchup
No. 15 Washington State (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) at Arizona (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12), Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Line: Washington State by 3.
Series record: Arizona leads 26-16.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A win will guarantee Washington State remains tied atop the Pac-12 North. A victory for surprising Arizona would leave the Wildcats in the thick of things in the race in the Pac-12 South, and the Wildcats would be tied for first with a win and an Arizona State upset of USC.
Washington State’s defense against Arizona QB Khalil Tate. The sophomore, has reeled off three incredible performances since taking over as starting quarterback. The Cougars are third in the conference in rushing defense (120.1 yards per game) but they will have their hands full with Tate and his fellow ball carriers. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in rushing at a whopping 342.7 yards per game. Tate is the first player in 29 years to be named Pac-12 offensive player of the week in three consecutive weeks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington State: Luke Falk. The Cougars quarterback needs 225 passing yards to break the Pac-12 career record of 13,600 held by Oregon State’s Sean Mannion. He needs six touchdown passes to break the conference record of 116 held by Matt Barkley. Falk has thrown for 2,483 yards this season. Arizona ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in pass defense (257.6 yards per game).
Arizona: J.J. Taylor. The speedy running back gives the Wildcats another big-play weapon in the backfield. Taylor was having a breakout year in 20016 when he went down with a season-ending broken ankle. He hasn’t had a huge game yet this season but with his speed and moves it could come at any time.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington State routed Arizona 69-7 last season in Pullman. ... Cougars have won last three games in the series. ... Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring (43.1), rushing (342.3) and fewest sacks allowed per game (0.71). ... WSU is second in the conference — behind Washington — in scoring defense (18.5 ppg). ... On average, 10 receivers catch at least one pass per game for Washington State. ... Cougars kicker Eric Powell is tied for first in the Pac-12 in scoring with 71 points. He has 282 for his career, third-most in school history.
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