The 54th annual Autozone Liberty Bowl will take place in Memphis, Tennessee on Monday, December 31st with a start time of 3:30 PM (Eastern). The game will pit the Iowa State Cyclones vs the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Iowa State favored by 1 point, while the total sits at 51.5.
Conference USA champion Tulsa will get another shot at Iowa State when the teams meet in the Liberty Bowl. Tulsa (10-3) earned its Liberty Bowl bid Saturday by defeating UCF 33-27 in overtime. The Golden Hurricane will face Iowa State, which defeated Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1 in the season opener for both teams. Iowa State also is scheduled to play at Tulsa next season, so they'll end up meeting three times in barely over a year. This marks the fourth time in the last six years that Tulsa has won at least 10 games. The Golden Hurricane will be playing in the Liberty Bowl for the first time since a 31-24 victory over Fresno State in 2005.
The Liberty Bowl has a partnership with the Southeastern Conference, which didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to send anyone to Memphis this season. Liberty Bowl officials filled that spot in the game by inviting Iowa State from the Big 12. Liberty Bowl executive director Steve Ehrhart cited Iowa State's fan base, its schedule strength and the bowl's desire to build a relationship with the Big 12 as a few of his reasons for selecting the Cyclones. Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said over 40,000 Iowa State alumni live within a day's drive of the Liberty Bowl. Iowa State (6-6) won four of its first five games this season, but the Cyclones have gone 2-5 since. Iowa State was picked ahead of Louisiana Tech (9-3) and Middle Tennessee (8-4), who won't be playing in bowl games. The Cyclones are making their first Liberty Bowl appearance since 1972, when they lost 31-30 to Georgia Tech. It will be Iowa State's third bowl game in the past seven years, and their second-straight appearance in the postseason (lost year year's Pinstripe Bowl).
Iowa State Stat Rankings--- The Cyclones check in at 90th in total offense, 79th in passing, 71st in rushing and 86th in scoring (25.2 ppg). On defense ISU is 99th overall, 113th vs the pass, 70th vs the run and 35th on points allowed (23.3 ppg).
Tulsa Stat Rankings--- Tulsa comes in at 25th in total offense, 72nd in passing, 11th in rushing and 32nd in scoring (35 ppg). On defense the Golden Hurricane is 33rd overall, 58th vs the pass, 18th vs the run and 42nd in points allowed (24.2 ppg).
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