Iowa State was in Friday's Alamo Bowl until the end, but never led and came up two points short of a second straight bowl victory Friday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Brock Purdy scored on a 1-yard QB sneak with 4:02 to play, but a false start on the 2-point conversion attempt -- the Cyclones' seventh false start of the game -- backed ISU up to the 8, and David Montgomery was stopped well short of the goal line after catching a pass from Purdy.
No. 13 Washington State (11-2) picked up a pair of first downs and kneeled out the clock with No. 24 Iowa State (8-5) out of timeouts, sealing a 28-26 win.
Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was the game's MVP, passing for 299 yards and two touchdowns on an Alamo Bowl record 35 completions (49 attempts). His counterpart Purdy was 18 of 27 for 315 yards and two interceptions, one that was returned 66 yards for a touchdown by Marcus Strong that was negated due to taunting. Purdy scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground.
Montgomery rushed for 124 yards and a TD on 26 attempts, and Hakeem Butler dazzled viewers with 192 receiving yards on nine catches, but the Cyclones turned it over three times to go along with 10 penalties.
Iowa State had a chance to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Connor Assalley's 49-yard field goal dinged off the right upright and the Cougars maintained a 21-20 advantage. Assalley was 2-for-3 on field goals in the game.
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Alamo Bowl: No. 13 Washington State 28, No. 24 Iowa State 26
WSU — Renard Bell 22 pass from Gardner Minshew; Blake Mazza kick (7-0, 6:55 1st)
WSU — Minshew 7 run; Mazza kick (14-0, 6:08 2nd)
ISU — Brock Purdy 9 run; Connor Assalley kick (14-7, 4:26 2nd)
WSU — Dezmon Patmon 9 pass from Minshew; Mazza kick (21-7, 1:02 2nd)
ISU — Assalley 50 field goal (21-10, 0:00 2nd)
ISU — David Montgomery 8 run; Assalley kick (21-17, 12:11 3rd)
ISU — Assalley 23 field goal (21-20, 1:04 3rd)
WSU — Max Borghi 10 run; Mazza kick (28-20, 10:24 4th)
ISU — Purdy 1 run; pass failed (28-26, 4:02 4th)