The WSU football team will start a string of nine straight Pac-12 games this weekend by traveling to take on the Colorado Buffaloes (1-2).
The Cougars are coming off a 42-24 loss to San Diego State in which the Cougs held the lead at halftime but were unable to sustain it, eventually surrendering 28 points in the second half.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Sekope Kaufusi said the Cougars are more prepared following the loss to SDSU.
“San Diego State is a more mature team than we were,” Kaufusi said. “They’ve been in those situations. They’ve been there, they’ve done that. They’ve been to bowl games. We haven’t been doing that.”
Kaufusi also said the team was ready to get Pac-12 play underway.
“It’s real exciting, the vibe around right now is ‘go get it,’” Kaufusi said.
In their last Pac-12 road game, the Cougs topped the Oregon State Beavers 31-14 to win their first Pac-10 game since 2008. The WSU (2-1) offense ranks sixth in the nation in yards per game, averaging 539.7 yards per game this season, including 590 yards against Idaho State and 610 against University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Colorado owns the all-time series lead between the two squads with a 4-2 record, including the most recent 20-12 victory in 2004.
Redshirt senior Marshall Lobbestael said the Cougs are looking to work hard during practice in order to be successful Saturday.
“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” Lobbestael said. “We’re looking at Colorado this week. That’s our focus. We just want to prepare as hard as we can and as best as we can. (We want to) execute our game plan and learn it during the week and practice it during practice obviously, and then go out and execute so we’re just trying to focus on one Saturday at a time.”
The Buffaloes are coming off a 37-17 loss to Ohio State last weekend in which they surrendered 336 total yards, including 226 yards on the ground.
The Colorado offense features sophomore receiver Paul Richardson, who has had an excellent 2011 campaign, including an 11-catch, 284-yard, two-touchdown performance in Colorado’s loss to California. Their game against Cal did not count as a conference game, so this game will mark both schools'Pac-12 opener and Colorado’s first game as a member of the Pac-12.
Lobbestael said if the Cougs can execute their game plan, they should be in a good position to get the win on Saturday.
“They played Cal and they played them tough, so we just need to go out and play our game. It’s about us, and if we execute and we play our game, I feel like we’re going to have a good chance to compete in the fourth quarter and win.”
Kaufusi was not as elaborate in how the Cougars were planning on welcoming Colorado to the Pac-12.
“We’re just going to hit them in the mouth,” Kaufusi said.
Gametime is set for 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on Fox College Sports Pacific.