The Alamo Bowl has near-annually given us some terrific games and this year’s edition looks like it will be no exception as No. 13 Washington State took a 21-10 lead into the locker room at halftime over No. 24 Iowa State in an entertaining (if low-scoring) affair down by the Riverwalk.
In what might be a slight surprise to those who haven’t watched them much this year, the Cougars were able to hold the lead thanks in large part because of their defense. They recorded two sacks in the first half and forced a pair of turnovers, including a (near) pick-six by corner Marcus Strong that was brought back 15 yards after he held the ball out before crossing the goal line to draw a taunting penalty.
Even with that mistake, the offense still punched the ball into the end zone and Strong got a huge shoutout on social media from one of the best to ever play the position too.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew II was on point with 166 yards and two touchdowns passing and one rushing. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year also managed to set school record for passing yards and completions in the first half too as he sliced up one of the Big 12’s best defenses.
His opposite number did not quite rise to the same level as Brock Purdy looked like a true freshman in throwing a pair of interceptions early on. The young signal-caller did bounce back to throw for 144 yards and run a touchdown in but the Cyclones going to need a lot better play out of him, especially with David Montgomery being bottled up to the tune of 40 yards. Top wideout Hakeem Butler was basically the entire passing game too with 124 yards before the break.
We’ve seen some really fun finishes in the Alamo Bowl over the years and given that this one involves Mike Leach and an ISU squad that loves to mount comebacks, something says we could be in for a real doozy of a second half down in San Antonio.