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Washington State vs. Arizona notes and stats

Get primed for Saturday’s game

Washington State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats will be going for their fourth win in a row Saturday, but they will be facing their biggest challenge yet in the No. 15 Washington State Cougars.

We scoured through the school-produced game notes to find the most interesting tidbits and stats to get you primed for the game, which begins at 6:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

The UA’s game notes can be found here. Washington State’s can be found here.

Series stats

  • All-time series: Arizona leads, 26-16
  • at Tucson: Arizona leads, 13-9
  • Last meeting: WSU 69, Arizona 7 — Nov. 5, 2016 (at Pullman)
  • Streak: WSU has won 3 of last 4 meetings

Arizona notes and stats

  • Arizona is 57-37-5 playing in its annual Homecoming game. Saturday will be the 100th Homecoming game in UA history.
  • The Wildcats have won three straight Pac- 12 games for the first time since 2014
  • Arizona is 3-0 to begin its October schedule for the first time since 1993.
  • Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring (43.1), rushing (342.3) and fewest sacks allowed (0.71 per game).
  • UA averages 7.01 yards per rush, second-best in the nation for teams with at least 250 rush attempts thus far
  • Arizona is seventh in the FBS in total offense (514.0)
  • Arizona is fifth in the FBS in scoring offense (43.1)
  • Arizona is averaging 3.21 points per drive, the best mark in the Pac-12.
  • Arizona is averaging 7.75 yards per play, also the best mark in the Pac-12.
  • Arizona’s defense has forced two or more turnovers in six of seven contests in 2017.
  • UA’s defense has forced 15 turnovers in seven games. Last year, it had 14 takeaways in a dozen games.
  • The Cats have started five true freshmen on defense, second-most for any FBS team.
  • Through seven games, Arizona has played 27 freshmen, including 17 true freshmen. That tally of 17 true freshmen ranks tied for fourth-most among FBS programs according to research done by Brett Moore of the Illinois Sports Information Department.
  • Arizona is 5-5 all-time against Washington State teams ranked in the AP Top 25, though the Cougars have won four of the last five such meetings
  • Arizona’s defense has forced a three-and-out on 27 of 90 drives this season, which comes out to 30 percent. Last season, in 12 games, Arizona had just 30 three-and-outs the entire season.
  • Khalil Tate has been ridiculous the last three games:

Washington State notes

  • The Washington State Air Raid offense enters the week with the nation’s fifth-best passing attack (359.8), good for second in the Pac-12, are eighth in the country with a Pac-12 best 190 first downs and tied for second nationally with 25 passing touchdowns.
  • Jamal Morrow enters the week with 3,844 all-purpose yards, third-most in WSU history, an his 722 all-purpose yards this season lead the team and ninth-most in the Pac-12
  • Morrow has served as the WSU game captain for the past 30 games and coach Leach revealed why in 2016. In August of 2013, Morrow was a contestant on The Price is Right, reaching a showcase showdown and coach Leach thought he would be good at the coin toss. Morrow began the streak in WSU’s double-overtime win at Oregon in 2015. The Cougars are 22-8 since, and Morrow is 9-3 in correctly calling the toss, WSU is 6-3 when he wins a coin toss and WSU has been on the winning end of the toss 20 times in those 30 games with Morrow at captain, who won the coin toss at Oregon, his first time calling the toss in 2017.
  • Washington State has averaged a national-best 10 receivers catching a pass per game this season, according to an unofficial survey from sports information directors.
  • Not only have the Cougars produced big offensive numbers, finishing the last couple seasons among the nation’s passing leaders, WSU has produced bigger offensive linemen. The size of the front five has gone up each season with the 2017 offensive line averaging 322.6 pounds after averaging the same number last season. In prior years WSU average 288.6 in 2012, 288.2 in 2013, 309.4 lbs in 2014 and nearly 310 lbs in 2015.
  • The Cougars enter the week tied with the seventh ranked defense (274.0) in the country, second nationally with 64 tackles-for-loss and tied for third in the country with 26 sacks. The Speed D owns the country’s third-rated passing defense (153.9) and have posted a pair of shutouts (Montana State, Colorado) in the same season for the first time since 1981.
  • Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has emphasized the need to force turnovers and get the ball back to the Air Raid offense. The Speed D owns 16 takeaways including four against Boise State, two that were returned for touchdowns, two more takeaways including a fumble returned for a touchdown in the week three win over Oregon State before intercepting three passes against Nevada, forcing two turnovers against USC and recording three takeaways at Oregon
  • The 16 turnovers are tied for the third-most in the Pac-12 lead and No. 12 in the country while the eight fumble recoveries are No. 11 in the nation. Now in their third season under Grinch, the Cougars are 18-3 when forcing multiple turnovers in a game.
  • Kicker Erik Powell has 282 career points, third-most in WSU history. He also owns the third-best field goal percentage (72.1) in school history. His 13 made field goals are second in the Pac-12 and his 71 points are tied for the conference lead.