Gardner Minshew wants anyone complaining about WSU’s bowl game to stop pouting: ‘We’re on a mission’

Dec 5, 2018, 4:03 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm
Gardner Minshew was this year's Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. (AP)...
Gardner Minshew was this year's Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. (AP)

The No. 13 Washington State Cougars have a chance to finish with 11 wins for the first time in school history. That chance comes Dec. 28 when the Cougars head to San Antonio to face No. 24 Iowa State.

WSU (No. 13) will play in Alamo Bowl against Iowa State

But for many WSU fans, the bigger story is the bowl game they weren’t selected to. Despite their 10-2 record, the Cougars finished one spot outside of qualifying for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Washington State athletic director Pat Chun called the ranking “disappointing” and head coach Mike Leach said his Cougars “earned the right to be considered the best 10-2 team.” WSU fell behind nine-win teams University of Florida, LSU and Penn State.

At least one person doesn’t see it as a snub: WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew.

“I mean, if we’d have won the Pac-12 we’d be in the Rose Bowl,” Minshew told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore. “But we didn’t. So guess what? It’s not in control of us. So we’re gonna go play the Alamo Bowl, we’re going to be fired up about it, and if not, if we go down there sulking, we’re gonna get [beaten badly] by Iowa State. So we better quit that poutin’ stuff, and any fans out there cut that out, because we got a mission and we’re gonna go win our 11th game of the year, something that’s never been done. So any bowl game we can go to is an extreme blessing…

“That’s the truth and that’s how we’ve got to live it. Because Iowa State’s a very good team and they’ve shut down some really good offenses this year. So we better bring our A-game and secure the best season in Cougar history.”

Minshew was named 2018’s Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and was also the recipient of this year’s Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award. The 22-year-old has completed 70 percent of his passes and thrown for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Minshew, who entered WSU in the fall as a graduate transfer, said this season has “meant everything.”

“They gave me a shot and an opportunity to play,” Minshew said. “I just can’t thank Coach Leach enough, can’t thank my teammates (enough) for letting me come in on short notice and lead the team and trust me the way they have. It means so much – all the relationships we built, all the fun we had.

“It’s not over yet, that’s the best thing about it.”

Moore: 10-2 Cougars disrespected with bowl selection

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Gardner Minshew wants anyone complaining about WSU’s bowl game to stop pouting: ‘We’re on a mission’