FIRST LOOK: WSU

WASHINGTON STATE IS an improved team from recent dreadful years but they are still climbing out of a hole in 2011 and sit at 3-3 at the season's midpoint. The question is do the Beavers have enough firepower to knock them off?

They do, but after watching the OSU-BYU game, how it will actually play out this Saturday, (TV: FSN, 7:30 pm) is anyone's guess.

Washington State has piled up the yards but accrued far too points for their efforts much of this season.

They have an excellent receiving crew but they've faltered of late, either through drops or the o-line not giving the WSU quarterback enough time.

The Cougs don't run the ball a whole lot and when they do, they've been average at best. Shut down the passing game, either by pressure or strong secondary play, and the Beavers can win this battle in Seattle.

On defense, the Cougars are somewhat like the Beavs -- good plays followed by poor ones.

They can play solid against the run for the most part, but they're also prone to giving up a quick hitter up the middle. WSU's pass rush, however, has been poor and they've rarely gotten to the quarterback.

But they're playing better D, overall, than OSU if you believe the stat sheet, ranking 61st in total defense to Oregon State's 75.

Late in the game has been WSU's greatest weakness. The offense isn't a ball control type unit, and with the defense out on the field so long, they naturally tire. If OSU can extend the issue into the fourth quarter, they should have an advantage here.

Oregon State opened a 3-point underdog on Sunday, the line has since climbed to 4 points.

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