One of Tulsa’s few blemishes on the 2012 season was a 38-23 opening weekend loss to Iowa State. The Golden Hurricane got some revenge Monday in the Liberty Bowl.
Tulsa rushed for 316 yards while its defense kept the Cyclones off the board for the final three quarters in a 31-17 win. Trey Watts led all rushers with 149 yards while Alex Singleton scored three touchdowns on the ground. The Hurricane defense was able to keep ISU quarterback Sam Richardson off-balance for most of the game, keeping the freshman to under 50 percent completion percentage and 129 yards through the air while forcing a turnover.
But Richardson should be better next season for Iowa State after playing in the final three games of the year. What hurts Paul Rhoads‘ team, though, is losing linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein. Those two combined for 177 tackles even though Knott missed the last four games of the year with a shoulder injury.
For Tulsa, the Conference-USA champs get Nebraska transplant Cody Green back for another year at quarterback, as well as leading receiver Keyarris Garrett. Bill Blankenship has done an outstanding job at Tulsa and the Golden Hurricane should be in the conference race next year as well.