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The Cougars are set for the Alamo Bowl

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

For the last time in 2018 and for the last time for eight months, the Washington State Cougars will play a meaningful football game. Say what you want about the importance of bowl games, ultimately they count on the scoreboard and in the record books.

And that means the Cougars have a decent amount at stake on Friday night. With a win against Iowa State, WSU will set a school record with its 11th win this season. It would be the seventh bowl victory in program history and would clinch an end of season ranking for the first time since 2003.

WSU enters the game No. 12 in the AP poll. The Cougars’ best finish in the final AP poll of the season is No. 9. With a win against the Cyclones and some appreciation from the votes, along with some top teams losing, the Cougs have an outside shot at setting a high water mark there as well.

That’s without even getting into the potential single-season records the Cougars can set. Gardner Minshew needs 121 yards to set the single-season record at WSU. He is 523 yards away from becoming just the 16th quarterback to top 5,000 passing yards in a season.

To say the least, there is a lot on the line tonight, “exhibition” or not.

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Football:

No. 12 WSU football vs. Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl: What to watch for — and a prediction | The Seattle Times
The Cougars have a chance to win 11 games for the first time in school history. Here's what to watch for in Friday's Alamo Bowl vs. Iowa State.

WSU linebacker Jahad Woods says Cougars have ‘an amazing opportunity’ in Alamo Bowl | The Seattle Times
With a victory over Iowa State, the Cougars can win 11 games for the first time in school history. "We still have an amazing opportunity," said WSU linebacker Jahad Woods.

Difference makers: Dogs of Washington State have played crucial role in guiding Cougars through difficult year | The Spokesman-Review
In the weeks and months after Tyler Hilinski’s death, members of the Washington State football team were surrounded by psychiatrists, doctors and other mental health specialists dedicated to guiding the Cougars through a trying time in their lives.

From obscurity to celebrity, Gardner Minshew is ready to steal one more show as Washington State’s starting quarterback | The Spokesman-Review
The first seven months of the Gardner Minshew era at Washington State have been something to remember. Who was to say the last few days of it wouldn’t?

Chance to grab program-record 11th win has motivated Washington State ahead of Alamo Bowl | The Spokesman-Review
Most of them don’t share the same zeal for history as their head coach, but Washington State football players still know enough about what has and hasn’t been accomplished by their predecessors, and therefore understand what’s on the table for them Friday at the Valero Alamo Bowl.