Iowa State slips past Memphis in Lib­erty Bowl

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - NEWS - BY STEVE MEGARGEE

MEMPHIS — Iowa State proved a sea­son­long bid to raise its stan­dards was more than just a slo­gan.

Allen Lazard tied a Lib­erty Bowl record with 10 catches and put Iowa State ahead with a re­mark­able 5-yard touch­down re­cep­tion in the third quar­ter as the Cy­clones beat No. 19 Memphis 21-20 Satur­day on the Tigers’ home field.

The vic­tory gave Iowa State (8-5) its first bowl vic­tory since a 2009 In­sight Bowl tri­umph and marked the Cy­clones’ third win this sea­son over a team in The As­so­ci­ated Press Top 25. That’s the step for­ward Iowa State had in mind when it made “Raise The Stan­dard” its team motto.

“The thing that fi­nally res­onates in our pro­gram is that this can hap­pen,” Iowa State coach Matt Camp­bell said, “not only with our play­ers but the peo­ple out­side of our pro­gram, that suc­cess and win­ning foot­ball games at Ames, Iowa, can re­ally hap­pen.”

The progress was ev­i­dent in the way the Cy­clones held on to win af­ter their only lost fum­ble of the sea­son. Iowa State was at­tempt­ing to be­come the first Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion team to go an en­tire sea­son with­out los­ing a fum­ble.

The Cy­clones led 21-20 and had thir­dand-goal from the 1 when David Mont­gomery fum­bled as he was cross­ing the goal line. As re­play of­fi­cials re­viewed the play, Camp­bell told his play­ers he hoped the call wasn’t over­turned be­cause it would en­able the Cy­clones to show how they’d ma­tured since a heart­break­ing 20-19 loss to Kansas State in their reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale.

“Coach was out there preach­ing to us in the de­fen­sive hud­dle this is what we wanted, to show peo­ple that we’d learned from what we’d been through,” Iowa State line­backer Joel Lan­ning said.

Memphis (10-3) drove to the Iowa State 40 but lost the ball when Ri­ley Ferguson over­threw Phil May­hue on fourth-and-10 with 1:52 re­main­ing. Iowa State ran out the clock from there.

“It was kind of hard get­ting the ball out, but at the same time, I’ve got to find a way to make a play,” said Ferguson, who went 21-of-33 for 286 yards with two touch­downs but was sacked six times. “There on the last play, I’ve got to find a way to make that throw to Phil, no mat­ter whether I have pres­sure on my face or not.”

Iowa State pulled ahead 21-17 with 4:28 left in the third quar­ter when Kyle Kempt’s pass ap­peared to get de­flected just be­fore Lazard caught it in the back of the end zone. Lazard had 142 re­ceiv­ing yards in his fi­nal col­lege game and was named the bowl’s MVP.

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