By The Associated Press
Iowa State (7-5) vs. No. 19 Memphis (10-2), Dec 30, 12:30 p.m. Eastern (ABC)
Line: Memphis by 4
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Memphis is seeking its first 11-win season in school history. The Tigers went 10-0 in 1938 and 10-3 in 2014. An eighth victory would give Iowa State its highest single-season win total since a 9-3 finish in 2000. Iowa State is seeking its first bowl victory since a 14-13 Insight Bowl triumph over Minnesota on Dec. 31, 2009.
Memphis passing game vs. Iowa State pass defense: Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller have connected on 30 touchdown passes over the last two seasons. That high-powered passing attack has enabled Memphis to average 50 points and over 500 yards in home games this season. The Liberty Bowl is taking place on Memphis' home field. Iowa State ranks 28th nationally in scoring defense but is 101st in pass efficiency defense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa State: LB Joel Lanning ranks second in the Big 12 in tackles per game (9.2) and also occasionally plays quarterback in short-yardage situations. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award given annually to the nation's most versatile player. Lanning is the first player to produce a sack, interception, fumble recovery, touchdown run and touchdown pass in the same season since Utah's Eric Weddle did it in 2006.
Memphis: WR Anthony Miller has 236 career catches for 3,535 yards and 36 touchdowns to rank as the leading receiver in school history. He's the first Memphis player ever to produce multiple 1,000-yard seasons. The consensus All-American and former walk-on has 92 catches for 1,407 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. He ranks second among all Football Bowl Subdivision players in yards receiving per game and touchdown catches.
FACTS & FIGURES
Iowa State is the only FBS team that hasn't lost a fumble this season. ... The Cyclones also have committed the fewest penalties of any Big 12 team this year. ... This game will mark the Liberty Bowl's second sellout in the last three years. ... Memphis is 7-0 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium this season. ... This marks the first time Memphis has played in the Liberty Bowl. Iowa State is 0-2 in the Liberty Bowl with losses to Georgia Tech in 1972 and Tulsa in 2012. ... This marks the first time a ranked team has played in this game since No. 7 Louisville beat No. 10 Boise State 44-40 in the 2004 Liberty Bowl. ... The Liberty Bowl is sponsored by AutoZone.