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Washington State vs. Arizona Prediction, Game Preview

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Washington State vs. Arizona prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Cougars and Wildcats.


When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, Washington
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Look at Wazzu. After dropping the season’s first two games, it’s been nothing but a winning brand of football for the Cougars (6-2). Six consecutive wins over Idaho, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State and Oregon State have Washington State streaking and hopeful for a potential Pac-12 title. Last weekend’s victory on the road saw Wazzu take down the Beavers, 35-31. Oregon State went up 21-0 in the second quarter, but the Cougars outscored the Beavers, 35-7 the rest of the way.

As for Arizona (2-6), it’s been a rough, trying season. The Wildcats opened with a nail-biting loss to BYU but then bounced back with back-to-back wins over Grambling State and Hawaii. Since then, though, Arizona has fallen in five straight games to Washington, UCLA, Utah, USC and Stanford. The Wildcats fell at home to the Cardinal, 34-10, last weekend.

Last season’s meeting in Tucson ended in a 45-42 win for Washington State. However, Arizona still owns the all-time series with Wazzu, 26-15.

What To Know About Washington State

Luke Falk has been lighting it up this season — specifically during the Cougars’ winning streak. In the past six games, Falk has completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 2,028 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the win over Oregon State, he connected on 33-of-46 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns, easily his best performance this season.

Falk found his main man, Gabe Marks, eight times for 110 yards and two of those five touchdown throws. Jamal Morrow, while he ran for 55 yards on seven carries, also caught five balls for 95 yards and a touchdown. Tavares Martin Jr. joined the party with six grabs for 82 yards and a touchdown, and the fifth and final scoring strike was hauled in by Robert Lewis, who had two receptions for 12 yards.

What to Know About Arizona

Last time out against Stanford, Brandon Dawkins was downright shaky for the Wildcats. He completed 5-of-15 throws for 116 yards, a touchdown and one interception. That led to Rich Rodriguez sending in Anu Solomon to take over at quarterback, and all three of his passes fell incomplete. Khalil Tate also had an opportunity to throw the ball, but both of his passing attempts hit the ground.

Dawkins was the leading rusher for Arizona, though, running for 65 yards on 17 carries. Samaje Grant chimed in with 64 yards on 19 carries, and Branden Leon tacked on 20 more yards off four rushes. It was tough to run the ball without Nick Wilson, who will miss multiple weeks with a knee injury.

Advantages

Offense: Washington State – This isn’t even close. Falk has been one of the better quarterbacks in college football this season, and he’s throwing the ball well right now.

Defense: Washington State – This has to be the Cougars. They’re allowing 384.3 yards per game, whereas the Wildcats are surrendering 457.9 yards per game.

Special Teams: Arizona – Erik Powell has missed 5-of-8 field goals for Wazzu, and Josh Pollack has knocked home 7-of-9 for the Wildcats.

Coaching: Washington State – Mike Leach knows how to put points up on the board. It’s as simple as that.

Matchup To Watch

Luke Falk vs. Arizona defense

Look, if the Wildcats don’t find a way to get pressure on the quarterback, this one will be over sooner rather than later. Arizona needs to attack the pocket and get a pass rush. If it doesn’t make Falk uncomfortable and have to throw on the run, Wazzu is going to put points up in a hurry. At the same time, all Falk needs to do is what he’s been doing all along. If he’s smart with the football and doesn’t try to force the ball to his first read, Falk will have a big game.

Betting Odds

Spread: Washington State -17
Over/Under: 65.5

Washington State vs. Arizona Prediction

Morrow is going to get things started for the Cougars with a couple nice runs early. James Williams and Gerard Wicks will chip in and provide quality support for Washington State on the ground. Falk will take the reins from there and will lead the Cougars to a two-possession lead at halftime. Arizona will try to answer but will end up turning the ball over instead. With the field flipped for great field position, Falk will continue to lead the aerial attack and will help Wazzu cruise to its seventh straight win.

Washington State vs. Arizona Score Prediction: Washington State 49, Arizona 23

MORE: AP Top 25: Takeaways From Week 10 Poll

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