Why Washington State Will Win The Valero Alamo Bowl
– The passing offense works against everyone. The offense can run a bit, but it chooses not to. It’s all about Gardner Minshew and the passing attack that led the nation even with the snow game against Washington that held the O to 152 yards.
Against everyone else, Minshew threw for well over 300 yards and only threw eight picks – three of them came against San Jose State – until the loss to the Huskies. Yeah, Iowa State can tackle, and it can keep the big plays to a minimum, but schedule 350 Washington State passing yards and start from there.
– The offense gets all of the love, but the defense is fantastic, too, especially when it comes to getting into the backfield. The Cougars led the Pac-12 in sacks with 35 on the year, generating two or more in every game and keeping the pressure on to help out a solid secondary. The Iowa State offensive line is good, but it’s not air tight. The Cougars can’t let the good Cyclone skill players get comfortable.
– Iowa State is supposed to have the controlled offense that owns the tempo, but Washington State is the one that will own the time of possession battle. For all of the good things the Cyclones do, the third down defense isn’t anything great – granted, that’s life in the Big 12 – and they only keep the ball for around 28 minutes per game. Washington State led the Pac-12, controlling the clock for over 32 minutes.