Washington State-USC: Live updates, analysis, score for Week 5 (Sept. 29, 2017)

The unbeaten Washington State Cougars look to start 5-0 for the first time in 16 years when they host the USC Trojans Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Here’s all the game time information for Washington State-USC.

Stay updated with live game information from Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington here:

Washington State-USC live updates, score:

Washington State-USC game time, details:

Date: Friday, Sept. 29, 2017

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

Location: Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington

Line: USC (-3.5)

What TV channel is Washington State-USC on?

Washington State-USC will air on ESPN.

How can I watch Washington State-USC online?

Washington State-USC can be streamed online on ESPN3 or on Watch ESPN app on your tablet.

How can I listen to Washington State-USC on the radio?

Washington State-USC can be heard on the Washington State IMG Sports Network or listen to the same live broadcast on Sirius channel 962.

Washington State-USC keys to the game

Establish the run

Washington State is first and foremost a passing team, having thrown the ball an average of 55.8 times per game this season. But being able to run the ball on occasion is necessary to keep a defense honest, and USC can be susceptible to big plays on the ground.

The Trojans have allowed seven rushes of 20 or more yards, second-most in the Pac-12. WSU only has three such 20-plus runs but it also attempts just 25.5 running plays per game (including sacks).

When it runs the ball, the Cougars can be effective. Senior Jamal Morrow is averaging 6.89 yards per carry and as a team the Cougars are 7-for-12 on third downs when they stay on the ground.

Unleash the Mata’afa

Washington State junior defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa leads the Pac-12 in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (eight) and is the active career leader in both categories. But he failed to record either a sack or TFL in the Cougars’ lone conference game, a Week 3 win over Oregon State.

The Cougars lead the Pac-12 with 33 TFLs, recording at least eight in each game, while the 19 USC has yielded in four games is tied for second-fewest in the league.

Disguise the defense on pass plays

USC quarterback Sam Darnold remains a strong Heisman Trophy candidate despite having thrown seven interceptions, second-most in the Pac-12. He’s been picked off at least once each game and could have had several more interceptions if errant passes weren’t dropped.

Washington State’s pass defense is tops in the league, allowing 142.3 yards per game, though none of the FBS teams it has faced this season is known for its aerial attack. Having the defensive line pressure the quarterback is only part of the equation, as the Cougars will need to try and bait Darnold into making bad throws by playing off receivers and then trying to jump routes or get in position for a pick on deeper passes.

The post Washington State-USC: Live updates, analysis, score for Week 5 (Sept. 29, 2017) appeared first on Diehards.

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