QB Rising Leads No. 14 Utah into Washington St. on Thursday
The No. 14 Utah football team is on a roll, coming off a 43-42 win over Southern California on Oct. 15. Washington State is headed in the other direction, having lost three of its past four games. The two teams, who both had byes last weekend, will play Thursday night in Pullman. The key matchup is Utah’s balanced offense against Washington State’s bend-but-not-break defense. Utah is averaging 40.7 points and 472 yards per game behind quarterback Cameron Rising. Washington State’s defense leads the conference at just 20.7 points allowed per game. Washington State's offensive line has been unable to protect QB Cameron Ward lately, giving up 11 sacks in two games. Coach Jake Dickert responded by revamping the offensive line.
No. 14 Utah (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) at Washington State (4-3, 1-3), Thursday, 10 p.m. ET (FS1)
Series record: Utah leads 10-9.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both teams are coming off a bye week, but headed in different directions. Utah, the defending Pac-12 champs, beat then-No. 7 Southern California 43-42 on Oct. 15. Washington State lost at Oregon State on Oct. 15, their third loss in the past four games.
Utah's balanced offense against Washington State's bend-but-not-break defense. Utah averages 40.7 points and 472 yards per game. Washington State's defense leads the conference at just 20.7 points allowed per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah: QB Cameron Rising led a 75-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter to top the previously unbeaten Trojans. Rising has passed for 1,855 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, adding 308 yards on the ground and six rushing TDs. RB Tavion Thomas, whose status for Thursday is uncertain, has 414 yards and five touchdowns for a Utah ground game that averages 192 yards per game and leads the conference with 19 touchdowns. TE Dalton Kincaid has caught 39 catches for 558 yards and six touchdowns.
Washington State: The offensive line has been unable to protect QB Cameron Ward lately, giving up 11 sacks in the past two games. Coach Jake Dickert responded by revamping the offensive line.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington State has allowed 26 sacks this season, ranking among the nation's worst FBS teams. ... Utah’s defense allowed 42 points and more than 500 yards in each of its past two games. ... Washington State's rushing attack has been the least productive in the Pac-12, averaging just 89 yards per game, 20 fewer yards per game than 11th-place Colorado. ... Rising has taken just five sacks all season.