Aside from a triple-overtime win over Boise State on Sept. 9, No. 16 Washington State (4-0) has been largely unchallenged this season with blowout wins over Montana State, Oregon State, Nevada. Well, the Cougars will be challenged Friday when No. 5 USC (4-0) visits Pullman for a Pac-12 showdown.

Just how excited is Washington State for this game?

“Well, we’re excited about every game,” Washington State head coach Mike Leach said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That’s the one thing with football: you don’t get as many opportunities maybe as you’d like, but we’re definitely excited and of course USC will be our biggest challenge so far of the season. So I think the challenge is exciting, but I think also we’ve been improving as the year’s gone on.”



USC, of course, is led by Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold, who has completed 67.1 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, however, has been even better – at least statistically. The senior has completed 76.9 percent of his passes for 1,378 yards, 14 touchdowns and one pick.

“Two good quarterbacks, no question,” Leach said. “It’s funny: I met Darnold briefly at Media Days, and his personality reminds me of Falk’s a lot. Falk’s done a tremendous job here. I think (he) continues to improve. Kind of an even-tempered guy under fire. Anyway, two very good quarterbacks in this game.”

Friday’s kickoff is slated for 10:30 p.m. ET.


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