On Friday night, the Iowa St Cyclones will face off against the Washington St Cougars in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Cyclones are 8-4 and come in as the 24th ranked team in the nation. The Cougars are 10-2 and are the 13th ranked team in the nation.
Cyclones Coming Off a Close One
The Cyclones are coming off a narrow escape of a massive upset in their last game. They played the Drake Bulldogs in a makeup game that got postponed earlier in the year. Iowa St was supposed to win by 40+, but they only won the game by a score of 27-24 and were trailing in the third quarter. Quarterback Brock Purdy didn’t do too much on offense, completing 15 of 22 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. David Montgomery was a workhorse in that one, running the ball 33 times for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brock Purdy also added a touchdown on the ground.
The Cougars are coming off a 28-15 loss to the Washington Huskies in the PAC 12 title game in their last contest. This was a heartbreaker for Washington St as they could have had a chance to make the top 4 with a win in that game. Quarterback Gardner Minshew II was uncharacteristically bad, going 26 for 35 for just 152 yards. Minshew threw no touchdowns but had 2 interceptions. The run game wasn’t strong either, as James Williams and Max Borghi combined for just 85 yards on 16 carries. Williams had two touchdowns on the ground.
Strong Offense Will Be Deciding Factor
The Iowa St Cyclones have had a solid year and have been average on both sides of the ball. On offense, they are averaging 27 points per game and 359 total yards per game. They rely on the run more than the pass, and running back David Montgomery has surpassed the 1000 yard total on the season. They average 235 pass yards and 124 rush yards per game. The defense has allowed 23 points a game and 351 total yards a game. They allow 229 pass yards per game and will face a pass-heavy offense in Washington St in this one.
Washington St comes in boasting one of the most prolific offenses in the country, averaging an impressive 38 points per game and 462 total yards per game. They have been extremely pass heavy this season. They average only 82 rush yards a game but are putting up 380 passing yards a game behind the veteran Minshew. The defense has been strong as well to go along with a dynamic offense. The Cougars are allowing 23 points a game and 345 total yards per game. They are allowing 137 rushing yards per game and will face a heavy dose of Montgomery in this one, and if they can stop him they will be in a good position.
Cyclones vs. Cougars Prediction
Washington St comes in at -2.5. Gardner Minshew and the Cougar offense has been nearly unstoppable all season long, and I don’t see that stopping here. The Cougars should be able to score at will against an average Cyclone defense, and the Cougars should be able to get enough stops to win this game relatively easily. Take Washington St -2.5.
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