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Cyclones defeat No. 19 Memphis In AutoZone Liberty Bowl

This news story was published on December 30, 2017.
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MEMPHIS, TN – Iowa State (8-5, 5-4 Big 12) defeated No. 19 Memphis (10-3, 7-1 AAC), 21-20, in the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Saturday, winning the fourth bowl game in school history.

Allen Lazard, playing in the final game of his storied Cyclone career, tied a Liberty Bowl record with 10 catches for 142 yards and one touchdown. The native of Urbandale, Iowa, was named the game’s MVP, while Marcel Spears was named the game’s Outstanding Defensive Player with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

With the victory over the No. 19 Tigers, the Cyclones set a new program record for wins over ranked opponents with three.

Iowa State struck first and fast, opening the game with a 52-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kempt to Hakeem Butler, giving the Cyclones a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. The play was Butler’s fourth of 50+ yards this season, leading the team in such plays.

Following a quick 10-yard strike from Riley Ferguson to Anthony Miller to tie the game at 7-7, Iowa State’s Joel Lanning rumbled for a two-yard score to recapture the lead. The Cyclone would go into halftime with a 14-10 lead following a Memphis field goal as time expired.

The Tigers emerged from the locker room and quickly took their first lead of the game on a 36-yard pass from Ferguson to Phil Mayhue.

The Cyclones mounted a huge drive in response, marching 85 yards in 11 plays, highlighted by a spectacular Lazard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone to give Iowa State a 21-17 advantage.

It looked like Iowa State was about to put the game away, leading 21-20 with a drive deep in Memphis territory. Running back David Montgomery appeared to surge to pay dirt for a Cyclone score, however the officials ruled that Montgomery had fumbled prior to crossing the end line for a Tiger touchback.

The Iowa State defense stood tall, as it did all season, coming up with a critical fourth-down stop with less than two minutes to play. Lanning rushed for an ISU first down, and the Cyclones were able to kneel down in victory formation.

Lazard caught 10 passes and set an Iowa State bowl record with 142 receiving yards and a touchdown. Lazard ends his ISU career with 12 100-yard receiving games, including four this year. He also set a new single-game school record with his 10 touchdown reception in 2017.

Spears led the defense, racking up 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Kempt was 24-of-38 for 314 yards and two touchdowns under center.

Cyclone Quick Hits:
*Iowa State is now 4-9 all-time in bowl games. The program’s last bowl win was 2009 Insight Bowl (14-13 vs. Minnesota)
*Matt Campbell is the third coach in school history to lead the Cyclones to a bowl win.
*ISU went 3-1 vs. ranked opponents this season. Iowa State defeated No. 3 Oklahoma, 38-31 in Norman (Oct. 7) and No. 4 TCU, 14-7 in Jack Trice Stadium.
*This is the fifth road win of the season (5-2), tying for first in school history: 1978 (5-1), 1960 (5-1), 1903 (5-1).
*The 2017 Cylones are one of only nine teams in school history to win eight games in a season (including bowl games): 2000 (9-3), 1906 (9-1), 2017 (8-4), 1978 (8-4), 1977 (8-4), 1976 (8-3), 1971 (8-4), 1903 (8-1), 1896 (8-2).
*The Cyclones tied a Liberty Bowl record with six sacks in the game.
*Lazard had 10 receptions, tying the Liberty Bowl record.
*Lazard finishes his career with 12 100-yard receiving games, including four this season.
*Lazard set a new single-season school record with his 10th receiving TD this season.

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