SportsPac12: WSU-Iowa State Alamo Bowl Prediction and Preview
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WSU-Iowa State Alamo Bowl Prediction and Preview

December 27, 2018

Washington State is a narrow favorite against Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.

Washington State vs. Iowa State: Alamo Bowl Details, Prediction, and Preview


#13 Washington State (10-2, 7-2) vs #24 Iowa State (8-4, 6-3)
Friday, December 28, 6:00 p.m. PT, ESPN
Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Straight-Up: Washington State in a Close Win
Against the Spread: Washington State  (-3.5)

Washington State had every expectation of playing on New Year's Day before Washington and the snow changed their plans. The Alamo Bowl may feel like a consolation prize, but the Cougars can't afford to treat it like one.

Despite starting 1-3, Iowa State finished like one of the top teams in the Big 12. The change came once quarterback Brock Purdy was inserted into the starting lineup: The freshman led the Cyclones to six wins in their last seven games, including victories over Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech. 

Iowa State also boasts the Big 12's top defense, allowing just 22.5 points per contest. Having played Texas Tech may have helped the Cyclones prepare for WSU's version of the Air Raid offense, but stopping Gardner Minshew and his gifted group of receivers is another matter. The senior transfer quarterback was a legitimate Heisman contender, throwing for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Washington State's rushing defense ranked 47th in the FBS this season, giving up 4.02 yards per carry. That should be enough to contain Iowa State's rushing attack, which averaged a scant 3.49 yards per carry, less than many of the better running teams the Cougars stuffed.

The Cyclones seem to have found their stride heading into the bowl season, and will likely keep it close for a half or so. But Wazzu should prove too much for Iowa State in the end.

Against the Spread

  • Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
  • Cougars are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Friday games
  • Cougars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in December
  • Cougars are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big 12
  • Cyclones are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games on grass
  • Cyclones are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in December
  • Cyclones are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games
  • Cyclones are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall

Notes: The Cougars and Cyclones have never met, but Washington State coach Mike Leach has faced Iowa State four times in his career, winning three out of four at Texas Teach from 2000-2009. The Cougars are 1-3 both straight up and against the spread in bowls under Leach. 

Washington State won 10 games this season for only the sixth time in WSU history. Washington State running back James Williams broke his own WSU record for single-season receptions by a running back with 76, the sixth-most in Wazzu single-season history for a player at any position. 

Minshew has thrown for 300-plus yards in 11 games this season. Cornerback Darrien Molton is one start away from tying the WSU record of 48, and linebacker Peyton Pelluer has played in a Wazzu-record 53 career games.

Washington stateSTATISTICSIowa State
Pac-12 NorthConferenceBig-12
13CFP Committee Ranking24
38.3Points per Game26.8
23.1Points Allowed22.5
462Yards per Game359
379.8Passing Yards per Game234.8
82.1Rushing Yards per Game126.4
345Yards Allowed per Game351
208.8Passing Yards Allowed per Game223.7
136.6Rushing Yards Allowed per Game122.3
Gardner Minshew
4,477 yards (36 TDS, 9 INTS)
Passing Yardage and TD LeadersBrock Purdy
1,935 yards (16 TDs, 5 INTs)
James Williams
552 yards, 12 TDs
Rushing LeadersDavid Montgomery
1,092 yards, 12 TDs
Davontavean Martin
650 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving LeadersHakeem Butler
1,126 yards, 9 TDs
Peyton Pelluer
86 total tackles
Defensive LeadersGreg Eisworth
84 total tackles

Remaining Pac-12 Bowl Game Schedule

—Monday, December 31—
Sun: Stanford vs Pitt
Redbox: Oregon vs. Michigan State
Holiday: Utah vs. Northwestern

—Tuesday, January 1—
Rose: Washington vs. Ohio State