Iowa State seeks bowl win to cap best season in decades

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy warms up before an NCAA college football game against Drake, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa State is looking to cap one of its best seasons in decades with a bowl win.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 1:41 PM

Alamo Bowl: Washington State (10-2) vs. No. 25 Iowa State (8-4) in San Antonio, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Line: Washington State by 3.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Iowa State is looking to cap one of its best seasons in decades with a bowl win. After a 1-3 start, the Cyclones finished third in the Big 12, their best league finish in 40 years. Washington State is looking to rebound from a tough loss to rival Washington that knocked the Cougars out of the Pac-12 title game.

KEY MATCHUP

Iowa State secondary vs. Washington State QB Gardner Minshew II. The Cyclones have one of the Big 12's best defenses and facing a pass-happy team like the Cougars will bring few surprises after facing the wide-open offenses in their own league. Minshew, the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, has passed for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Washington State: WR Dezmon Patman's 740 yards this season are a team best. Minshew has his pick of receivers as the Cougars have eight with more than 300 yards. Patmon's 13.5 yards per catch is best in the group.

Iowa State: Freshman QB Brock Purdy is 7-1 as a starter and his dynamic play as a runner was key to the Cyclones' midseason turnaround. Purdy led a pair of wins over ranked opponents and the Cyclones average more than 31 points per game since he took over the offense.

FACTS & FIGURES

Iowa State's eight regular-season wins are the most since 2000 and its 16 wins the last two seasons mark the best two-year stretch in school history ... Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler's 22.1 yards per catch leads the nation ... Minshew led three game-winning fourth quarter drives and he's the only quarterback in the country with six 400-yard passing games.

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