QBs key as Washington State, Iowa State meet in Alamo Bowl
Valero Alamo Bowl No. 13 Washington State vs. No. 24 Iowa StateWhen/where: 8 p.m. Friday; Alamodome, San AntonioTV/Radio: ESPN; ESPN Radio 1250 AMRecords: Washington State 10-2, 7-2 Pac-12; Iowa State 8-4, 6-3 Big 12Three Keys for Washington State: -Coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense led the nation in passing (380 yards per game) and will look to take flight in the indoor venue.-Washington State will spread the ball around. The Cougars are the only FBS team to have nine receivers with at least 25 receptions.-The Cougars led the Pac-12 with 35 sacks and should attack Cyclones freshman quarterback Brock Purdy.Three Keys for Iowa State: -Running back David Montgomery will look to pace the offense. He’s run for 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons.-Receiver Hakeem Butler poses a big-play threat, ranking second in the FBS with 22.1 yards per catch.-The Cyclones have faced two Leach-style offenses this year in West Virginia and Oklahoma, holding both below their season averages.Player to Watch for Washington State: Senior quarterback Gardner Minshew. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, Minshew has thrown for 4,477 yards — 237 shy of Jared Goff’s Pac-12 single-season record. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting after racking up 36 touchdowns against nine interceptions and completing 70.6 percent of his passes.Player to Watch for Iowa State: Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. Since Purdy took over the starting quarterback job in the team’s fifth game, Iowa State has won seven of eight contests, averaging 31.5 points and 388.8 yards per game. Purdy has averaged 241.9 passing yards per game with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions in his eight starts while also rushing for 262 yards and three scores.