Ranked for first time in 4 years, No. 23 Washington State hosts Northern Colorado

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No. 23 Washington State (2-0) vs. Northern Colorado (0-2), Saturday, 5 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

Line: No line, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Washington State leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Washington State is back in The AP Top 25 after last week’s upset victory over Wisconsin and now faces FCS program Northern Colorado. It’s a bridge between the emotional high of knocking off the Badgers and next week’s Pac-12 Conference opener against No. 16 Oregon State. Northern Colorado is winless in its first two games under new coach Ed Lamb and plays three of its first four games of the season on the road.

KEY MATCHUP

Washington State vs. complacency. Coach Jake Dickert spoke this week of the Cougars needing to be a hungry, mature team to handle the attention from the win over Wisconsin and not look ahead to Oregon State. Getting caught looking ahead and making major mistakes seems the only way the Cougars could find themselves in trouble in this matchup.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Northern Colorado: QB Jacob Sirmon. The one-time top recruit across the state at Washington returns to his home state to face the Cougars. Sirmon threw four passes in his career with the Huskies before transferring to Central Michigan for one season and eventually ending up at Northern Colorado. Sirmon has thrown for just 220 yards in his two starts this season and the Bears have scored just 18 offensive points in eight quarters.

Washington State: DE Ron Stone Jr. He was named Pac-12 defensive player of the week after his performance against Wisconsin that included five tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. One of those fumbles was recovered by teammate Brennan Jackson for a touchdown in the victory. In a perfect scenario Stone won't be on the field for very long on Saturday, but when he is he'll likely be a problem for the Bears.

FACTS & FIGURES

Washington State is ranked for the first time since Week 4 of the 2019 season. ... The Cougars have allowed 127 yards rushing in two games and have scored a defensive touchdown in each of the first two games. ... Washington State WR Lincoln Victor is second in the Pac-12 and tied for seventh in the country with 18 receptions in two games. ... Since moving up to the FCS level, Northern Colorado is winless in matchups with FBS teams. It’s closest miss came in 2014 when the Bears lost 13-12 at UNLV.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll