The Colorado Buffaloes are at home this Saturday for a matchup with the Washington State Cougars. It is a matchup of two teams with identical 8-2 records. Both teams have surprised the experts this year. Most of the so-called experts had Washington State finishing third or fourth in the Pac-12 North and Colorado finishing dead last in the Pac-12 South. Instead, the Cougars sit on top of the North and are undefeated in conference play. The Buffaloes are in first place in the South and are 6-1 against the conference.

Here are four matchups to keep an eye on this Saturday:

Luke Falk vs. Colorado Defense

The Washington State quarterback has been sensational so far this year, with a 157.4 passing rating on the season. He has already thrown for more than 3,600 yards, and just last week against Arizona, Falk threw for 376 yards to go along with five touchdown passes.

He will be matched up against a Colorado passing defense that is among the best in the nation, giving up an average of just 176.9 yards per game. The way this matchup turns could well decide the outcome of the game.

Sefo Liufau vs. Washington State Defense

Just as the Cougars’ signal caller is central to their hopes of winning, the Buffaloes need their quarterback, Liufau, to step up big in this one. Last week against Arizona, Liufau had a sensational game. He threw for three touchdowns and ran one in himself. He threw for 213 yards on 19-of-27 passing. He also rushed for 56 yards on 17 carries. He will have to play well again against a Cougars defense that only gives up 24.3 points per game.

Washington State Offense vs. Colorado Crowd 

A few decades ago, the Buffaloes regularly hosted big-time matchups like the one that will be on display at Folsom Field this Saturday. That had sadly become a thing of the past, as the Buffs struggled through a decade of disparity, holding claim to the worst winning percentage in the country over the last 10 years (amongst Power 5 schools).

That has all changed this year, as Colorado has finally stepped up to show they belong in the Pac-12 and are deserving of playing in a New Year’s Bowl game.

It has been a long time since the Colorado fans got to go to a November football game that that had real postseason ramifications. You can expect the Colorado fans to be worked up into a lather from the opening kickoff. Washington State’s offense will have to keep their composure and deal with the crowd noise effectively if they want to win.

Mike vs. Mike

The two Mike’s, Coach MacIntyre for the Buffaloes and Coach Leach for the Cougars, are both on top of the coaching world right now. Both coaches have made a lot of talking heads eat their words this season. MacIntyre, in particular, has his team soaring to unexpected heights. Both coaches would love to get this victory to put a huge feather in their caps. It should be a great game, and fans could well see a rematch of these two teams in the Pac-12 Championship game.