NO. 7 WASH. STATE (9-2, 6-1)
at UCLA (7-4, 4-3)
Today, 1:30 p.m.,
TV -- Channel 7
Radio -- KXTA (1150)
WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL
The Bruins often will use two tight ends because flanker Tab Perry (ankle) is sidelined and because the Cougars will bring intense pressure against freshman quarterbacks Drew Olson and Matt Moore. Freshman tight end Marcedes Lewis and freshman receiver Junior Taylor could have breakout games. Washington State has 48 sacks, 13 by tackle Rien Long. UCLA must complete short passes to Craig Bragg and Mike Seidman and let them run. Tailback Tyler Ebell should get 20 carries and could be dangerous on screen passes. Washington State gives up only 85 yards rushing a game, but the statistic is misleading. Subtract sacks and the number climbs to 114 yards.
WHEN WASHINGTON ST. HAS THE BALL
If the hobbling Jason Gesser is at quarterback, the Cougars will employ the shotgun. If Matt Kegel starts instead, expect multiple formations. Both are dangerous passers, but with Gesser's ankle hurting, his ability to scramble will be compromised. Receivers Devard Darling (6-feet-2), Mike Bush (6-6) and Jerome Riley (6-3) are fast and rangy. Darling, a transfer from Florida State, has 10 touchdown catches. Running backs Jermaine Green (129 carries, 672 yards) and John Tippins (100 for 492) share the carries.
KEYS TO UCLA VICTORY
Pass effectively on first down: Olson and Moore must slow the potent Cougar pass rush by throwing effectively on running downs and avoiding second- and third-and-long situations.
Avoid early turnovers: First-quarter mistakes were the Bruins' undoing against USC. Although UCLA has overcome several deficits this season, it is very difficult to do that against a quality opponent.
Make sound coaching decisions: Bob Toledo and his staff must adjust their game plan quickly and intelligently. Moore should relieve Olson only if the offense is sputtering. And if Gesser plays, the Bruins must blitz and treat him like any other quarterback with restricted mobility.
HOW THEY COMPARE
*--* UCLA WSU 30.3 Scoring 33.5 24.1 Points Allowed 21.4 239.7 Pass Offense 295.0 139.3 Rush Offense 132.4 379.0 Total offense 427.4 219.0 Pass Defense 256.7 129.0 Rush Defense 85.0 348.0 Total Defense 341.7