Stefanie Loh, who covers Washington State for The Seattle Times, provides her insight into this matchup with CU:
3 Cougars key to this game
1. QB Luke Falk: He’s coming off the worst game of his career. The Cougars’ senior quarterback is mature enough that I don’t expect there will be any residual hangover from the Cal loss, but you never know. How he plays will have direct correlation on how well the Cougars do.
2. RB Jamal Morrow: The Colorado defense seems vulnerable against the run, and Morrow is one of WSU’s most versatile weapons. He accounted for 95 offensive yards even in WSU’s loss to Cal, and with outside receiver Tavares Martin suspended, he’s WSU’s biggest scoring threat, with seven total touchdowns this season.
3.WR Tay Martin: With Tavares Martin Jr. serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules, expect the Cougars to give true freshman receiver Tay Martin ample reps to see what he can do. Martin has played sparingly this season, catching six passes for 40 yards, but he’s brimming with potential.
Who they’re talking about
CU players the Cougars have talked most about this week:
1. RB Phillip Lindsay: The Colorado running back burned WSU in the Cougars’ defeat to the Buffs in Boulder last year, and they haven’t forgotten. Lindsay had 144 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Colorado’s win, and he certainly has the Cougars’ attention. WSU linebackers coach Ken Wilson said he thinks Lindsay is one of the best backs in the country.
2. QB Steven Montez: The Cougars’ defense knows Montez is deceptively athletic and has done well taking over from Sefo Liufau. After they let Cal’s Ross Bowers somehow outplay them last week, the defense isn’t taking any chances.
Key statistic for Washington State
Sacks — 9 allowed vs. Cal; 32 allowed this season: The Cougars’ offensive line had a horrible game against Cal. That needs to improve against Colorado if they want to get back to their winning ways.
Washington State can win this game if …
They cut down on the self-inflicted mistakes from last week – five interceptions, 9 sacks allowed, four fumbles. The Cougars need to go back to the formula that won them six-straight: play a controlled, mistake-free offensive game that’s predicated on reacting to what the opposing defense gives them, and also, force turnovers on defense. The Cal game marked the first time this year WSU’s defense came up without a forced turnover.