The Iowa State Cyclones (7-5) look for their first bowl win since 2009 when they take on the 20th-ranked Memphis Tigers (10-2) in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday. Iowa State has not fumbled the ball yet this season, but opponents have received 9 interceptions from the Cyclones. It was the first fumble lost all season for the Cyclones. Jonathan Cook recovered in the end zone for a touchback with 4:06 left. "When your defense has the ability to take the football away, it's giving you another opportunity to advance the football, and not only play field position, but increase your opportunity to score".
Memphis will be playing the Liberty Bowl in familiar territory, but the chilly weather could have Iowa State feeling right at home. "Iowa State is picking up the slack".
This Liberty Bowl appearance is Iowa State's first bowl game since 2012 when it also played in the Liberty Bowl, losing to Tulsa 31-17.
Iowa State defeated Memphis, 21-20, to finish with an 8-5 (5-2 Big 12) overall record in 2017.
Kempt has now scored two touchdowns in this bowl game, and he's thrown for 272 yards with a whole other quarter to go. His 10th touchdown catch of the year set Iowa State's single-season record.
Once owning a six-point lead early on in the final quarter, Kansas (9-3, 0-1 Big 12) had to fight to extend the game beyond regulation with a contested 3-point basket from junior guard Kylee Kopatich.
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The Odds: Memphis is a 4 point favorite against Iowa State.
Riley Ferguson finished the afternoon throwing for 286 yards while completing 21 of his 33 passes. Kempt connected on 15-of-26 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown in the half.
Iowa State fans will miss Lazard next year, but they will remember this performance forever. Penalties cost the Tigers about 81 yards per game. J.D. Waggoner and JaQuon Bailey recorded two sacks each for the Cyclones.
However, things are a bit different this year with a match up that includes the Memphis Tigers. While that's obviously a checkmark on the Memphis side of the ledger, Iowa State has a much larger advantage on the defensive side of the ball.
"I have to imagine it will be a pretty typical road-game environment", Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. He signed with Tennessee out of high school, spent nearly a year away from the game working labor jobs and played a year at the junior college level before landing at Memphis, where he has excelled in two seasons as Mike Norvell's starter.
Iowa State's Joel Lanning (7) thrived after switching from quarterback to linebacker this season.