Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
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Buffaloes at a glance
Record: 5-4, 2-4 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at Arizona, 42-34
Steven Montez, Jr.: 209-for-309, 2,396 yards, 17 TD, 5 INT
Sam Noyer, So.: 3-for-5, 14 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Jay MacIntyre, Sr.: 1-for-1, 31 yards
Travon McMillian, Sr.: 158 att., 837 yards, 5 TD
Steven Montez, Jr.: 73 att., 202 yards, 4 TD
Kyle Evans, Sr.: 55 att., 166 yards, 2 TD
Laviska Shenault, So.: 60 catches, 780 yards, 6 TD
KD Nixon, So.: 47 catches, 569 yards, 3 TD
Tony Brown, Jr.: 30 catches, 326 yards, 1 TD
LB Nate Landman, So.: 94 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 INT
LB Rick Gamboa, Sr.: 66 tackles, 1 INT
DE Mustafa Johnson, So.: 58 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL
5 Buffs to watch vs. Washington State
CB Delrick Abrams: After being hobbled for a bit with a calf injury, Abrams is fully healthy and the Buffs need him to get back to his early season form, when he was their top corner and playing well.
PK Tyler Francis: Thrown into the mix at the last minute a week ago, Francis was perfect (2-for-2 FGs, 4-for-4 extra points) in his collegiate debut. That performance should help the Buffs be confident in sending him to the field if needed.
RB Travon McMillian: Continues to be one of the top playmakers on offense. He’s got five 100-yard games and has been more of a receiving threat in recent games.
WR Laviska Shenault: He’s missed the last three games with a toe injury, but it’s possible he makes his return Saturday. A Heisman Trophy candidate before his injury, Shenault is a game-changer and his return could also be a huge mental boost for CU.
OLB Carson Wells: The redshirt freshman has been hitting his stride of late. In the past two games, he has 10 tackles and three sacks, including two sacks against Arizona last week.
Bottom line for CU
The Buffs simply need to get a win. They’re riding a four-game losing streak and a once-promising season is going downhill in a hurry. Although CU has not typically pulled this type of upset, it’s the type of game that could really alter the course of the season. Win this, and it sets CU up for a solid finish to the season.
Cougars at a glance
Record: 8-1, 5-1 Pac-1
Last week: Defeated California, 19-13
Gardner Minshew, Sr.: 329-for-465, 3,517 yards, 27 TD, 7 INT
Trey Tinsley, Jr.: 6-for-8, 54 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Anthony Gordon, Jr.: 1-for-3, 6 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
James Williams, Jr.: 86 att., 377 yards, 8 TD
Max Borghi, Fr.: 47 att., 245 yards, 6 TD
Gardner Minshew, Sr.: 35 att., 60 yards, 2 TD
James Williams, Jr.: 58 catches, 463 yards, 3 TD
Tay Martin, So.: 42 catches, 479 yards, 7 TD
Dezmon Patmon, Jr.: 44 catches, 621 yards, 3 TD
LB Peyton Pelluer, Sr.: 71 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks
LB Jahad Woods, So.: 52 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks,1 INT
S Jalen Thompson, Jr.: 49 tackles, 2 TFL, 6 PBU, 1 INT
5 Cougars to watch vs. CU
RB Max Borghi: Originally committed to CU, the true freshman from Pomona has been a valuable piece of WSU’s offense, with 449 total yards and nine touchdowns (six rushing, three receiving).
QB Gardner Minshew: He’s been one of the handful of best quarterbacks in the country this season. With great poise and moxie, he’s got the Cougars playing confident, and he gets better in late game situations (11 TD, 0 INT in the fourth quarter).
LB Peyton Pelluer: A sixth-year senior, he has been perhaps the best play maker on the Cougars’ defense. He will make plays against the run, but will also rush the passer and drop into coverage.
DE Logan Tago: He could feast on CU’s struggling offensive line. Tago has eight tackles for loss and two sacks this season.
RB James Williams: A lot of the WSU offense goes to Williams, who leads the Cougars in rushing (377 yards) and receiving (58 catches for 463 yards). His 144 touches on offense are nearly double that of any other skill player (Borghi is second with 76)
Bottom line for Washington State
The Pac-12’s last remaining hope for the College Football Playoff, Washington State can’t afford to lose down the stretch — and certainly can’t lose to the struggling Buffs. A spot in the CFP and the Pac-12 North title are big goals for the Cougars and they can keep those goals in sight with a win in Boulder.