Minshew: Burt Reynolds Is My Mustache Motivation

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew leads the nation in passing yards, but lately, his facial hair is getting all the attention

Tiki and Tierney
November 13, 2018 - 5:55 pm

USA Today Images


Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew leads the nation with 3,852 passing yards, but lately, his mustache is getting all the headlines.

“The inspiration is Burt Reynolds,” Minshew told Tiki and Tierney. “Smokey and the Bandit. Long story short, I grew up on it. I had it on VHS, watched it probably a million times. Him in the black Trans Am, that’s one of the baddest dudes I’ve ever seen.”

Minshew has been just as “bad” this season. The Mississippi native has gone from community college to East Carolina to having No. 8 Washington State (9-1) knocking on the College Football Playoff door.

“A lot of it is a testament to the guys around me,” Minshew said. “The players accepted me kind of early and really let me lead how I know how. The coaches have helped me get up to speed in the offense.”

That includes Mike Leach, one of the most entertaining personalities in the sport. Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney know from experience.

“However you met him, he’s like that all the time,” Minshew said. “He doesn’t put on a front. He isn’t doing any of it for attention or whatever. That is him 100 percent of the time – unapologetically. There’s something to that that guys can respect. He’s going to be the same guy every day, every minute, every meeting. I think that’s pretty awesome.”

Washington State hosts Arizona (5-5) this Saturday and No. 25 Washington (7-3) on Nov. 23. After that, the Pac-12 Championship – and the playoff – could await.

Can the Cougars get in?

“What do the in-season rankings mean?” Minshew asked. “They don’t really matter. The initial rankings never hold up. You just got to wait until the end of the year, play your best ball and then you kind of just got to let the cards fall where they’re going to fall. We can’t control any of it. We just have to put our best ball on tape and just hope we can do enough to earn one of those spots.”