Memphis roars back home: Tigers tangle with cyclones in liberty bowl showdown

The festive spirit of the holiday season will reignite under the Memphis night sky on Friday, December 29th, as the hometown Tigers clash with the battle-tested Iowa State Cyclones in the Liberty Bowl. This highly anticipated showdown features two teams riding waves of momentum, eager to cap off their seasons with a resounding victory.

Memphis Momentum:

The Tigers, sporting a 9-3 record, roar into the Liberty Bowl on a five-game winning streak, their offense humming like a high-octane engine. Under the guidance of Coach Ryan Silverfield, Memphis has transformed into a potent offensive force, averaging over 44 points per game during their recent tear. Quarterback Seth Henigan has blossomed into a star, orchestrating an aerial assault that has opponents scrambling for cover. Running back Brandon Thomas provides a formidable ground threat, adding balance and explosiveness to the Tiger attack.

Cyclones Stalwart:

Iowa State, boasting a 7-5 record, arrives in Memphis armed with a resolute defense and a seasoned quarterback in Hunter Dekkers. The Cyclones, ranked second in the Big 12 for fewest yards allowed per game, are a formidable defensive unit, known for their opportunistic interceptions and relentless pressure. Dekkers, with his poise and accuracy, will aim to exploit any cracks in the Memphis secondary and keep the Cyclones in the hunt.

2017 Rematch Raises the Stakes:

The Liberty Bowl stage adds an extra layer of intrigue to this clash. In 2017, Iowa State edged out Memphis 21-20 in a thriller, leaving a bitter taste in Tiger fans’ mouths. This year, under the Memphis sky, the Tigers have a chance to exorcise those demons and reclaim their hometown pride.

Key Matchups:

The duel between Henigan and the Iowa State defense promises to be a captivating chess match. Can Henigan navigate the Cyclones’ blitzing schemes and find his elusive receivers? Or will the Iowa State secondary clamp down and force turnovers? On the other side, Dekkers will need to find ways to penetrate the Memphis defense, which excels at shutting down passing lanes. Can he exploit potential mismatches and keep the Cyclones’ scoring engine humming?

Beyond the Numbers:

This game transcends mere statistics. It’s about redemption for Memphis, a chance to prove they belong on the big stage. For Iowa State, it’s about solidifying their reputation as a Big 12 force and silencing their doubters. The electric atmosphere, fueled by passionate fans and holiday cheer, promises to make this Liberty Bowl showdown a spectacle to behold.


While both teams boast impressive strengths, Memphis’ potent offense and home-field advantage give them a slight edge. Expect a high-scoring affair, with Henigan connecting with his receivers for big plays and Thomas carving up the Cyclones’ rushing defense. The Memphis defense will need to remain disciplined and capitalize on any Iowa State miscues. Ultimately, the Tigers’ hunger for revenge and their hometown roar might just prove too much for the Cyclones.