Looking for a Minnesota vs. Washington State preview ahead of their matchup in the Military Bowl? Stick around. We’ve got all of the pre-game analysis before the big game.
Tuesday, Dec. 27, the Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl. The game, to be played at Qualcomm Stadium, is slated for a 7:00 p.m. ET start time and will be broadcast on ESPN. Read on for our Minnesota vs. Washington State preview.
According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, Washington State wins the matchup between the two teams 70.5% of the time. The spread, via OddsShark, has the Cougars favored as well.
Spread: Washington State -5.5
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Minnesota vs. Washington State preview:
Minnesota (8-4) ended the regular season with a 31-17 loss at Wisconsin giving the Gophers their second loss in their final three games. Washington State (8-4) had a chance to make it to the Pac-12 Championship and possibly even the College Football Playoff, but dropped its last two games to Colorado and Washington.
Washington State was out scored 83-41 in the two losses to close out the season. In the Apple Cup against the Huskies, Washington State was held to just 334 yards while giving up 510 yards to Washington. Luke Falk ended the regular season with 4,204 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Minnesota's offense struggled in its last game of the season as well putting up just 286 yards against Wisconsin. The Gophers also had four turnovers in the loss. Running back Rodney Smith was the team's workhorse as he rushed for 1,084 yards and 15 touchdowns on 223 carries as the brightest spot on the Gophers' offense.
Minnesota beat Central Michigan 21-14 in last year's Quick Lane Bowl while Washington State beat Miami 20-14 last year in the Sun Bowl.
Minnesota vs. Washington State Prediction:
This is a game of two opposite styles. Washington State likes to get up and down the field through the air while Minnesota pounds away on the ground.
The Cougars sit second in all of college football averaging 370.8 yards through the air per game. Minnesota's defense ranks 67th in the land in allowing just over 228 yards through the air.
Washington State will have a nice day through the air and grab the win.
Washington State 37, Minnesota 27