Holiday Bowl prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between Minnesota and Washington State.
Minnesota should’ve kept that boycott in place, because it’s going to get whipped. The best of the Gophers’ eight wins this season came against, I don’t know, Oregon State, I guess. Maybe Northwestern. I mean, they’re just not very good. And Washington State is far and away the best team. One of the FBS’s worst passing defenses gets to try and stop Luke Faulk, who just might throw for six touchdowns in Wazzu’s rout.
This one won’t even be close. This game almost didn’t happen, but it will go down … as a win for Wazzu. Luke Falk will boost his stock with an outstanding performance through the air. He’ll find Gabe Marks for two touchdowns and drop another scoring throw into the hands of Tavares Martin Jr. James Williams, Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks will all contribute to balance out the offense on the ground, and the Cougars will cruise past Minnesota.
It’s going to be extremely difficult for the Golden Gophers to keep a lid on the Cougars’ passing attack behind quarterback Luke Falk, wide receiver Gabe Marks and a variety of offensive weapons. So playing keep-away and generating a lot of offense on the ground is crucial. Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks will find success in the run game, but quarterback Mitch Leidner still has to do his part. One too many mistakes by Leidner will doom the Gophers, though, as Tracy Claeys and Co. can only milk so much clock. Wazzu has a big second half and takes home the victory.
Washington State head coach Mike Leach and quarterback Luke Falk must be salivating thinking about a Minnesota defense that was in the bottom half of the FBS in passing yards allowed per game. That is bad news for the Gophers, as the Cougars will throw the ball around like a backyard game of catch. Minnesota will be missing some players, and whether or not the players even want to be there after a temporary boycott of the game remains to be seen. Cougs roll in this one.