With a 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl, the Cougars have given up an unlikely season with their eleventh win, a school record. Gardner Minshew just added to his legend.
Three impressions of the 28-26 victory of the State of Washington (Iowa State) in the Alamo Bowl on Friday evening.
Great End of a Great Season
The Cougars won 11 games for the first time in school history, and they did it in a season in which expectations from outside were low. (The Cougars were ranked fifth among the six Pac-12 North teams prior to the season.)
The Cougars insisted in the fall camp that there would be no demolition, even though many of the key players included the WSU 26 were lost, lost -1
And the Pac-12 owes the Cougars a big thank-you at the conference, which urgently requires a bowl victory after playing in bowls 1:10 in the last two seasons.
Gardner Minshew arrived in Pullman earlier this spring as a rather obscure transfer from East Carolina and in less than a year made sure he would never forget. Not only was he leading WSU into the most victorious of all time, or setting the Pac-12 season record at 4,480 yards, it was the flair with which he did so. Minshew's self-esteem and charisma increased his teammates, causing half of the pullman mustaches to appear in honor of Minshew and his mustache.
This Minshew recovered from his only free day of the season in the Apple Cup to lead his team to a team Cup victory was no surprise. Against a very good defense of the state of Iowa, he had a much more typical performance and survived two cases of sighting (both good calls by the way) to throw 300 yards and two touchdowns.
He escaped the pressure, he emphasized After a third and tenth game in the fourth quarter when, after shunning a sack, he turned the ball to Tay Martin to earn a 20-yard win. The Cougars scored a 10-yard touchdown at the next game.
Minshew will certainly miss next season, but Cougar fans have plenty of time to think about it. Currently they can celebrate Minshew's unique glorious season as Cougar.
The defense does enough
It certainly was not a dominant WSU defense effort, but the years later people will remember the revenue they created and not all yards gave up (515 to a team that did an average of 359 came in, 104th place out of 130 Division I teams).
Two interceptions helped the Cougars lead 14-0, but they struggled to do both things. The highest priorities were: Iowa State should run back David Montgomery and the big games of the recipient Hakeem Butler limit.
Montgomery hurried for 124 yards and broke tackle-to-tackle, a testament to his hard race, but also to the miserable tackle of the Cougars. Butler scored nine passes for 192 yards and made several major games when it appeared as if the WSU defenders were in a good position but unable to play the ball. However, when it seemed Iowa State had control over the game in the fourth quarter, sixth-ranked linebacker Peyton Pelluer, who took the lead in the sixth year, forced a mess, which helped the pumas return to the game Momentum came. Pelluer's influence on WSU defense was as great as Minshew's attack and it was a great opportunity for him to end his career.
And the last big game of the WSU defense, the stop at Iowa State's two-point conversion that could have made the game the same, helped save the night for the Cougars.