MEMPHIS, Tenn. – 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.
When the teams last met, Iowa State’s Steele Jantz threw two touchdown passes and Shontrelle Johnson rushed for 120 yards as the Cyclones rallied after falling behind 16-7 in the first quarter. Trey Watts rushed for 125 yards and Cody Green threw two touchdown passes for Tulsa.
“There’s no question that Iowa State is well coached and obviously, like us, have gone through transition since we met in the season opener,” Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said. “Iowa State has tremendous talent on their football team and played an excellent schedule in the Big 12 conference. Coach Rhoads has done an outstanding job in his four seasons. It will be a great challenge for our football team.”
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.
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.