Alamo Bowl: Washington State (10-2) vs. No. 25 Iowa State (8-4) in San Antonio, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Line: Washington State by 3.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Washington State is looking to rebound from a tough loss to rival Washington that knocked the Cougars out of the Pac-12 title game.
Iowa State secondary vs. Washington State QB Gardner Minshew II – the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have Minshew on their negotiation list. The Cyclones have one of the Big 12’s best defences and facing a pass-happy team like the Cougars will bring few surprises after facing the wide-open offences in their own league. Minshew, the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, has passed for 4,477 yards, leading the nation with 373.3 yards passing per game to go along with 36 touchdowns.
Minshew has a wealth of receivers: eight Cougars have at least 300 yards receiving and yet none have reached 8,00 yards. Tay Martin has a team-high eight touchdown catches. James Williams has a team-high 76 catches, but his 7.4 yards per reception ranks lowest among the top 10 receivers. Dezmon Patman’s 740 yards this season are a team best, Patmon’s 13.5 yards per catch is best in the group.
The Cougars have protected Minshew well behind an offensive line featuring standout tackles Andre Dillard and Abraham Lucas.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington State coach Mike Leach’s last trip to the Alamo Bowl was with Texas Tech in 2009. That was a wild and unpleasant trip for the coach, who came to San Antonio with his team but was fired three days before the game in a dispute over how Leach handled a player with a concussion … Minshew led three game-winning fourth-quarter drives and he’s the only quarterback in the country with six 400-yard passing games.