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Washington State running back Gerard Wicks celebrates after scoring a touchdown against UCLA last Saturday.
Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
Washington State running back Gerard Wicks celebrates after scoring a touchdown against UCLA last Saturday.

Washington State enters this week with the 110th-ranked rushing offense in the country.

That doesn’t mean the Cougars can’t run the ball. They just don’t do it very much.

Colorado has plenty to worry about with Wazzu’s nation-leading pass offense, but it can’t forget about the Cougar running backs.

Together, Gerard Wicks, Jamal Morrow and Keith Harrington average just 15.1 carries per game, but they post 5.95 yards per attempt. Wicks leads the way with 434 yards and three touchdowns on 82 carries.

CU defensive tackle Justin Solis said the Buffs’ priority is getting pressure on quarterback Luke Falk, but said, “You always have to worry about the run.”

In addition to their efforts on the ground, Wazzu’s running back trio is dangerous on screen passes. They have combined for 91 catches for 657 yards and six touchdowns through the air.


• CU’s offense has been held below 300 yards in consecutive weeks — 231 against Stanford on Nov. 7 and 281 against USC on Nov. 13. The Buffs were held under 300 yards just three times in coach Mike MacIntyre’s first 33 games — and never twice in a row before now.

• CU is 3-0 against Washington State in the state of Washington, although just one of those games was played in Pullman (in 2012). The Buffs beat the Cougars in Spokane in 1982 and in Seattle in 2004.

• The Buffs come into this game trying to break two streaks: 21 consecutive losses to ranked teams and 25 consecutive losses in road games against ranked teams.

• If CU can force the Cougars to punt, that would be a good thing. WSU ranks 124th nationally with a 32.4-yard net punting average and ranks 123rd in punt return yards allowed (16.3 per return).

• Getting the Cougars to punt is tricky because they often go for it on fourth down. WSU ranks second in the country in fourth-down attempts (31) and first in fourth-down conversions (23). By comparison, CU is 12-for-19 on fourth downs.

• These teams couldn’t be more different in the red zone. WSU is eighth in the country, scoring on 93.6 percent of its red zone trips. CU is 113th, scoring just 75 percent of the time.

• CU is 8-1-1 all-time in games played on Nov. 21, and they’ve won five in a row on this date.

• CU receiver Nelson Spruce has caught a pass in 36 consecutive games, a streak that ranks sixth in the country. It ranks second in this game, though. WSU’s Dom Williams has caught a pass in 41 consecutive games.

• WSU head coach Mike Leach is 1-4 against CU. MacIntyre has never faced the Cougars.