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GAME PREVIEW: WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA 

Saturday’s late college football action feature’s a Pac-12 matchup between Washington State and Arizona that has huge conference championship game implications. Washington State (7-1, 4-1) bounced back from its loss at Cal be whitewashing the Colorado Buffalos 28-0 last week. They have Pac-12 North co-leader Stanford on deck. Arizona has won three straight behind Lamar Jackson clone Khalil Tate and the (5-2, 3-1) Wildcats are currently tied for the top of the Pac-12 South. The line has not changed from Wazzou -3 but the total has been bet up a full point to 65 1/2. Note the time change to a 9:30 PM EST kickoff.

Washington State has been depending on its defense more of late as the smothering Cougars held a pretty good Colorado offense to just 174 total yards. QB Luke Falk found some of his form vs. the Buffs and while not having a huge yardage day, did throw three touchdowns without turning the ball over. The Coogs also ran for 197 yards but it is the defense that is the story in Pullman. The stop unit is now No.7 in total defense nationally and is No.3 against the pass allowing just 160 yards per through the air.

The switch to Khalil Tate has given new life to the Arizona program and possibly a second chance to HC Rich Rodriguez who was definitely under the gun. Tate has rushed for 696 yards the last three weeks while posting 45-47-45 points. Arizona will need to run the ball to keep Falk off the field and to give the defense a rest. The Wildcats scored just 16 and 24 points in its losses (both at home) and will need to trade points and still get some stops to stay in this game. A win here and again next week at USC makes the Cats a real Pac-12 contender as their schedule is very manageable the rest of the way.

This could be a nice revenge spot for Arizona who was pounded 69-7 in this game last year. Wazzou also won its last two visits to Arizona Stadium 45-42 and 24-17. Washington State is 16-8 ATS in its L24 roadies but is just 2-5 as a road fave under Leach. We have a run heavy offense vs. pass heavy offense that has been hindered by weather the past two weeks. Under warm but perfect football conditions in Tuscon, Leach just might showcase Falk (825 passing yards and 9 TDs in two games vs. Zona) versus suspect Wildcat secondary.

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