by CFP Staff
December 31, 2012
Tulsa finished an 11-3 campaign with a 31-17 win over Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl on New Year's Eve afternoon.
Tulsa erased first quarter deficits of 10-0 and 17-7 and gained revenge for its 38-23 loss at Iowa State in the season opener. The teams had met only once before the bookend games this season and are scheduled to meet in Tulsa on September 21 next season.
This is the first time since 1929 that Tulsa had two rematches within the same season as it also defeated UCF twice within 3 weeks to claim a regular season win and a CUSA title win over the Golden Knights.
It's the 4th time Tulsa has had double-digit wins in a season in the last six years. Iowa State, the 9th-place team in the Big 12, fell to 6-7 as the conference sent every team, except Kansas. to the postseason. CUSA teams won 4 of their 5 bowl games.
Tulsa took a 21-17 lead by halftime and never looked back as the defense grew stout and shut out the Cyclones over the last three quarters by forcing three turnovers and getting to the quarterback on seemingly every passing attempt. The Golden Hurricane, who averaged nearly 4 sacks a game in the regular season, added 5 more against Iowa State to finish with 53 in 14 games.
Tulsa came into the game ranked 11th in rushing and proved why as Alex Singleton had three short touchdown runs Trey Watts chewed up 149 yards on 25 carries. Iowa State entered the contest ranked 90th on offense.
Iowa State QB Sam Richardson was battling the flu and saw his production drop off considerably after the 1st quarter flurry. He passed for 114 yards and a score in the first quarter while missing on just 1 of 7 attempts. He managed to complete just 4-of-14 passes the rest of the way for a paltry 15 yards and an interception.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com spotted Tulsa a 0.68-point advantage for the third-tightest margin of all 35 postseason games.