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2018 Valero Alamo Bowl Preview

The Big 12 and Pac 12 are the two conferences in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This season Iowa State will take on Washington State on Dec. 28 in San Antonio. Here is the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl preview.

Iowa State Cyclones (8-4)

Matt Campbell and the Cyclones started off with a 1-3 record, but only lost one game the rest of the season. They beat three bowl-eligible teams in West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor. They only lost to Iowa, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas, all of which are headed to bowl games.

The Cyclones have a below average scoring offense that ranks 81st in the country and puts up 26.8 points per game. They rush for 124.3 yards (ranked 113th) and pass for 234.8 yards (ranked 61st) per game.

2018 Valero Alamo Bowl Preview
Hakeem Butler (Photo by theathletic.com)

Iowa State has gone through three different starting quarterbacks, but have found a future star in Brock Purdy. Purdy threw for 1,935 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions on 66.3% completion. He has one of the best receivers in the country to throw to in Hakeem Butler. Butler has registered 51 receptions for 1,126 yards and nine touchdowns. Tarique Milton, Deshaunte Jones and Matthew Eaton have also contributed at a decent level.

Running back David Montgomery has been a focal point on the offense for two seasons. He has rushed for 1,092 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Purdy is the team’s second-leading rusher with 262 yards and three touchdowns.

On defense, the Cyclones allow 22.6 points per game, which ranks them 35th in the FBS. They allow 122.3 yards on the ground (ranked 21st) and 228.8 yards through the air (ranked 62nd) per game. Linebacker Willie Harvey has made an impact with his 72 total tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss.

Washington State Cougars (10-2)

Washington State had one of their best seasons in history under Mike Leach, getting to a 10-2 record. They beat five teams who had a .500 record or better, including Oregon, Stanford and Utah. Their losses came to a five-win USC team and a Washington team that will be playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.

The Cougars are known for their passing attack, which helps them score 38.3 points per game, which ranks 15th in the country. They rush for 81.8 yards (ranked 128th) and pass for 380 yards (ranked first) per game.

2018 Valero Alamo Bowl Preview
Gardner Minshew (Photo by mississipitoday.org)

Quarterback Gardner Minshew has become an urban legend for his mustache and his good play. He has thrown for 4,477 yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 70.6% completion. Minshew does a great job of spreading the ball around to a lot of good playmakers. His top four receivers all have over 500 receiving yards. Dezmon Patmon leads the team in receiving yards with 740, while Davontavean Martin and Easop Winston are tied for the team lead with eight touchdown catches.

They don’t run the ball often, but when they do, James Williams is often the player getting the carries. He has 552 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Max Borghi has added 353 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Their defense has been a nice surprise this season, allowing 23.1 points per game, which ranks 38th in the FBS. They allow 136.6 rushing yards (ranked 36th) and 210 passing yards per game (ranked T-48th). Linebacker Peyton Pelluer has been a leader on the team for years. This season he registered 86 total tackles, nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Prediction

Washington State will take advantage of the below-average pass defense of Iowa State. Minshew will have one last big game before entering the NFL.

Washington State Cougars 49 Iowa State Cyclones 36

 

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