The Golden Gophers make their fifth straight trip to bowl season as they prepare to take on Washington State in the National Funding Holiday Bowl. The Cougars are making their second bowl trip in a row and their first trip to the Holiday Bowl in more than a decade. 

Game Info

Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)

Dec. 27, 2016

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

How to watch

Game time: 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Live stream: You can live stream the Holiday Bowl here

Players to watch

- Rodney Smith leads the Golden Gophers backfield with 1,084 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has averaged 4.9 yards per carry this season.

- Luke Falk threw for 4,204 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season for Washington State. Only three FBS quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes II, Davis Webb and Ryan Higgins — threw for more yards this season.

Key stats 

- The Golden Gophers closed the season winning five of seven games, with both losses coming to ranked teams — No. 19 Nebraska and No. 6 Wisconsin.

- Both teams enter with 9-4 records.

- The Cougars lead the all-time series 3-2 and beat the Golden Gophers 41-9 at the Metrodome in the most recent matchup in 1988.

- Washington State is the second Pac-12 foe Minnesota has faced this season; the Golden Gophers opened their season with a 30-23 win over Oregon State on Sept. 1.

- The Cougars need a win to cap their second nine-win season in a row.

- This is Washington State’s first Holiday Bowl appearance since winning the 2003 edition over No. 5 Texas in upset fashion in a game that featured future NFL players Cedric Benson, Vince Young and Roy Williams.

- The Cougars bookended their season with two-game losing streaks; in between, they won eight straight games.

Injuries

- Cougars junior linebacker Isaac Dotson is questionable with an undisclosed injury.