WHO: No. 20 Memphis (10-2) vs. Iowa State (7-5)
WHAT: The 59th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. ET on ABC
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis
THE SKINNY: You know about Iowa State’s highlights. The Cyclones won in Norman for the first time in generations — while rallying from a 24-10 deficit, no less — and stunned TCU a few weeks later. But what has Iowa State done since then? Well, Matt Campbell‘s bunch lost three of its final four games and scored more than 23 points just once.
That’s not a good recipe for beating Memphis.
Mike Norvell‘s offense is as good as any in college football — Power 5 or not — and was shut down just once, in a 40-13 loss at UCF way back on Sept. 30. The Tigers scored 30 points or more in every other game and averaged 53.8 points a game over their final eight contests. Memphis’s defense can definitely be had — the Tigers are 78th or lower in every major defensive category, including 104th in scoring — but you’re going to have to put up 50 to get there. Iowa State can’t do that.
THE PICK: Memphis 42, Iowa State 23