The Washington State Cougars are bowl eligible after last week's win over Arizona State, and now the remaining three games will decide where WSU will be playing during the holiday season. The Cougs' opponent on Saturday night, UCLA, still has higher aspirations. The Bruins scontrol their own destiny for the Pac-12 South title with Utah and USC left on the schedule.
But those final two games will hold a lot less meaning for UCLA if it can't take down WSU. Will the Bruins be looking ahead to those pivotal final two games? Maybe, but with the Cougs coming in as a legitimate threat, it's likely UCLA will be focused.
So, what will the game look like? A lot of points, probably. WSU's Luke Falk and UCLA's Josh Rosen are two of the top QBs in the conference, even though they do things a little differently. Falk likes to work short routes all day, picking apart the defense on deliberate drives. Rosen has been far more explosive, hitting on a number of big plays down the field.
How does that match up against the defenses? Both UCLA and WSU have been happy to let teams get the short stuff to avoid the big passing play over the top. The Bruins' approach likely won't bother Falk, especially if the WSU offensive line keeps him upright (they likely will be blocking 5 on 4 frequently) and it may come down to how well the Cougs finish in the redzone.
On the other side, the key question will be whether or not WSU can maintain its bend-don't-break style against an offense that is looking to push it downfield more often than the Cougs' previous opponents.
And however those match-ups play out, we do know something weird will happen, because it is #Pac12AfterDark.
Game time: 7:45 p.m. PT
TV channel: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN (log-in required)
Radio feed: (embedded below)