CF.C Keys to the Game: Cougs vs. Dawgs

MIKE LEACH AND staff spent the week honing a game plan designed to get Luke Falk firing on all cylinders, one that includes getting rid of the ball quickly and accurately. Meanwhile, Husky QB Cyler Miles has done his best work the past two weeks in a season marked with inconsistent, low-production play. Here's how the Cougs can limit him on Saturday in the Apple Cup (Fox Sports 1, 7:30 p.m.)

Cougars (3-8) vs Huskies (7-5)
AT A GLANCE
KICKOFF:
7:30 pm Pacific Time

WHERE:
Martin Stadium (32,952)

TELEVISION:
Fox Sports 1

RADIO:
The Cougar Sports Radio Network covers much of the West. Click here for listings.

THE LINE:
UW by 3

LAST MEETING:
2013: WSU lost 27-17

THE SERIES:
UW leads 68-32-6

CF.C PREDICTION:
Cougs 35, Huskies 30

WHEN WSU HAS THE BALL
1. Attack the zone.
UW has a very good pass rush and generally keeps the back seven in zone coverage looking for interceptions. Falk (pictured above) can get back to looking like he did against Oregon State by tossing a lot of flood plays and slants out of trips formations and attack that zone where it’s weakest.

2. Avoid negative yardage plays and turnovers.
UW relies on sacks and turnovers to stop the drives. Falk must make good decisions, and quickly get the ball away. Holding calls and sacks allow this defense to turn up the pressure all the more.

WHEN WSU IS ON DEFENSE
3. Make clean tackles.
This is not a high powered UW offense but, but the skill players are quick enough to turn short gains into big plays if defenders don’t wrap up.

4. Contain the running game but get heat on Miles
Wide receiver is not a strong point for UW. The Cougars may focus primarily on looking to take away the run and force Cyler Miles to beat them through the air but WSU must get heat on the Husky QB. Oregon State gave Miles had a very solid pocket last week and he did just that - he beat them through the air.

WHEN WSU IS ON SPECIAL TEAMS
5. Avoid catastrophe.
WSU was much better last week on the kickoff and punt coverage units. But the Huskies have a dangerous KO return man in John Ross and don’t sleep on punt returner Dante Pettis (10.3 avg.) WSU must contain both – they don’t need to be spectacular on the coverage units, just serviceable.


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