How cool of a match up is this? Hurricanes versus Cyclones. The words ring with a sense of epic implications that excite me on a plateau that surprised even myself when you consider this is a match up against a team that we have already cut our teeth against and won early in the season.
The Golden Hurricane seemed to be in control with a 16-7 lead after the opening quarter. Iowa State then took command by scoring 24 unanswered points. Shontrelle Johnson, who will be out for the bowl game, ran for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown in that victory while senior Steele Jantz, who has since been sidelined for freshmen Sam Richardson, passed for two TDs.
Iowa State's new QB Sam Richardson in his last two games has accumulated an impressive 161 QB rating, but his biggest feat has been 58 pass attempts without an interception, compared to Steele's 24 attempts/INT or the other quarterback Barnett, who has several starts between this and last season, throwing an INT for every 27 attempts. Iowa State fans are hopeful that protecting the ball will be the key to a Cyclone victory this time around.
Tulsa, meanwhile, will lean on their 11th Nationally ranked rush offense to bring home a Liberty Bowl trophy. Fueled by a duel running back threat of Watts with 959 rushing yards and Douglas with 857, the Iowa State D-Line will have their hands full as they are still missing senior All Big-12 Line Backer Jack Knott.
The Iowa State Defense will have to force some plays in the air and then come up with some big plays and turnovers defensively to prevent Tulsa from setting the pace of the game with slow and steady running drives, and Tulsa will have to get pressure on the young Iowa State QB to prevent them from running up the score early. In the end, I think a very talented Senior class from Iowa State will be hungry to end their collegiate careers on a high note, and the list of notes for Tulsa is a lot more complete then Iowa State's new look offense, and Iowa State will hold on to a 34-24 Cyclone victory.
Oh yeah, and one more thing, guess who have 2 thumbs and going to the big game? This guy right here!