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Randy Peterson Liberty Bowl preview: Iowa State football wins by field goal

Iowa State's success in close games, and Chase Contreraz's potential game-winning field goal, makes the Liberty Bowl a must-watch game.

In 2017, Iowa State's coach, Matt Campbell, led the Cyclones to victory over the hometown Memphis Tigers in the Liberty Bowl by a single point, demonstrating that his program's focus on winning in the margins was more than just coachspeak. Since then, the program has had a 7-12 record in games decided by three or fewer points, and a 1-4 record in games that close. Despite being favored to win by 10 ½ points in this year's game, the Cyclones may still face a close match, as history has shown that games often come down to a single play.

Iowa State's kicker, Chase Contreraz, has been a key player in the team's success, and his growth has been a significant factor in the program's excellence. His performance in the upcoming game, along with that of true freshman running back Abu Sama, could be crucial in determining the outcome. Sama's previous impressive performance in a snowy game against Kansas State has fans hopeful for another standout game from him.

The Cyclones' defense will also play a crucial role in the game, as they face Memphis' high-scoring offense. The team's ability to contain the Tigers' quarterback, Seth Henigan, will be a determining factor in the game's outcome. Iowa State's defense will need to be at their best in order to keep the score close and secure a win.

With the game fast approaching, fans are eagerly anticipating the outcome, and the potential for another close match similar to the 2017 Liberty Bowl. The Cyclones' history of close games, combined with the talent of key players like Contreraz and Sama, sets the stage for an exciting and competitive game. Despite being favored to win, the outcome is far from certain, and the game is likely to be a thrilling and closely contested battle.

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