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Washington State looks to continue trends vs. Colorado State

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Washington State Cougars defensive back Sam Lockett III (0) recovers a fumble by Wisconsin Badgers tight end Clay Cundiff (not pictured) against Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Chimere Dike (13) and Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jake Ratzlaff (25) late in the fourth quarter during their football game Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Camp Randall in Madison, Wis.Mjs Apc Badgersvswash 0910221722djp
Credit: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK

Washington State and Colorado State are going in different directions starting off the season under new coaches heading into Saturday’s game at Pullman, Wash.

The Cougars, in Jake Dickert’s first full season as permanent coach after he led the program on an interim basis for the latter half of 2021, are coming off a 17-14 win last week at then-No. 19 Wisconsin.

Washington State’s Cam Ward went 17 of 28 for 200 yards with two interceptions in the upset victory, which earned the Cougars (2-0) votes in the AP Top 25.

Colorado State lost to Middle Tennessee State 34-19 at home to drop to 0-2 under Jay Norvell, who was hired away from Nevada after last season. The Rams are suddenly trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2010.

Norvell said he called meetings with some of his players Monday after the turbulent start of the season, which launched with a 51-7 loss at Michigan.

“I think we still have a ways to go in understanding the type of preparation you have to have,” Norvell said. “Good football teams all over the country, they come back and watch film, they’re getting with their coaches, they’re spending extra time, really sinking their teeth into the game plan.

“We’ve got some guys who have done that; we’ve got some guys who don’t understand that at all.”

Washington State showed it is in sync with Dickert his staff by topping Wisconsin at Madison, Wis., in front of 80,000 fans.

“We believed we could do it,” Dickert said. “This wasn’t some upset of a lifetime. … We just kept throwing things at them. You can never do just one thing against a good run team.

Washington State’s defense limited Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen to 98 yards rushing, just the second time in his last 11 games that was held below 100.

“I’m so proud of our run defense,” Dickert said. “To not give up a huge, explosive run — which is something their offense really depends on — is important.”

Now the Cougars will line up against a CSU offense that has managed 72 net yards rushing on 73 attempts this season – an 0.99-yard average that ranks 130th out of 131 in the nation. That stat is certainly influenced by Colorado State quarterbacks being sacked 16 times — the most in the nation, or about once for every two completed passes (36).

–Field Level Media