MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In a frigid Saturday afternoon, the Iowa State Cyclones defeated the University of Memphis 21-20 in the 59th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
In a game that was decided by little mistakes, the Cyclones held the Tigers to only 339 total yards of offense.
Riley Ferguson finished the afternoon throwing for 286 yards while completing 21 of his 33 passes. Ferguson's counterpart, Kyle Kempt, threw for 314 yards while completing 24 of his 38 passes for the Cyclones.
Ferguson told FOX13 after the game Memphis is home.
“It is truly a special place. It's not the way we wanted to end it but I love every single one of the people it's involved in this no matter what,” Ferguson said.
The Tigers defense had no answer defensively for both of the Cyclones wide receivers. Allen Lazard finished the afternoon with 10 rec, 142 yards and one touchdown. Hakeem Butler finished with only 5 rec, but for 111 yards and one TD.
Anthony Miller, playing his final game for the Tigers, finished with only four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
The official attendance for Saturday's game was 57,266. It was almost close to a sell out as the official capacity for the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is 61,008.
Coach Mike Norvell said the seniors will always be loved and thanked for this season.
“They have definitely left their mark and obviously have changed the expectations and really set a new standard for what it is to be a Memphis Tiger football player. I'm extremely honored for the opportunity to have coach them,” Norvell said. “I think the brightest days are ahead because of these guys and the foundation that they have laid. And what we are going to be able to continue to build upon.”
This was the Cyclones' first 8-win season since 2000. They finish the season 8-5.
The University of Memphis finishes the year 10-3.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.