The Washington State Cougars take on Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl today at four after much controversy.
The Washington State Cougars earned a bowl berth this year on the strength of their offense, which has featured the most productive Cougar receiver in school history, Gabe Marks, and one of its best quarterbacks in school history, Luke Falk.
Falk is fifth in the nation with 4,204 yards and 37 touchdowns. His leadership in Mike Leach’s offense is a big reason why the Cougars fared as well as they did in the Pac-12 this year. Other than two jittery losses to open the season to Boise State and Eastern Washington and an ugly loss at home to the CFP-bound Washington Huskies, the Washington State Cougars have played well, using their Air Raid offense to overwhelm opponents.
The 8-4 Minnesota Gophers have struggled against the pass this season. They finished ninth in the Big Ten in passing yards allowed per game. Their defensive style is to be aggressive and try to knock opposing quarterbacks on their backs with their pass rush and frequent blitzing. Expect more of the same against Falk tonight. They will be missing two key defenders, however. Linebackers Steven Richardson and Blake Cashman will play in the Holiday Bowl, while several key players will miss the game due to suspensions.
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The controversy started when Gophers players threatened to boycott playing the Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl because they felt investigation into ten of their teammates for sexual assault was unfair. They resolved their dispute with the program on December 17th and plan to play the Cougars tonight.
The game is at four p.m. today and will be aired on ESPN. The Gophers are trying to end their season on a high note. They have not had a ten-win season since the 2003 season.