Cyclones are Fiesta Bowl-bound
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Fiesta Bowl could add another high-scoring game to its history with No. 12 Iowa State scheduled to face No. 25 Oregon on Jan. 2.
The Cyclones (8-3) dropped four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings to No. 10 after losing to No. 8 Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. The Ducks (4-2, No. 25 CFP) won their second straight Pac-12 championship by beating No. 13 Southern California on Friday.
The Fiesta Bowl has seen some wild games through the years, including Boise State’s overtime win over Oklahoma in 2007 and a combined 94 points between UCF and Baylor in 2014.
Iowa State has the nation’s leading rusher in Breece Hall, who had 1,436 yards and 19 touchdowns. Quarterback Brock Purdy provided balance to the offense, throwing for 2,594 yards and 18 touchdowns with nine interceptions.
Oregon may not be as prolific offensively as in past seasons, but quarterback Tyler Shough threw for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions in six games.
Iowa State got the 2020 season off to a disappointing start with a home loss to Louisiana, but won seven of its next eight games before losing 27-21 to the Sooners in Saturday’s Big 12 title game.
Oregon (4-2) replaced Washington in the Pac-12 championship game after the Huskies had to pull out due to COVID-19 issues.
The Ducks, who finished second in the Pac-12 North, made the most of the opportunity, beating USC 31-24 for their second straight conference title. They did it despite starting the week thinking they would be playing Colorado.
The win earned Oregon the Pac-12’s automatic bid into a New Year’s Six bowl and got the Ducks back into the AP Top 25 at No. 25.
The Ducks got the Pac-12’s conference-only season off to a strong start, scoring at least 35 points in wins over Stanford, Washington State and UCLA.
Oregon moved up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and had longshot hopes of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff. The playoff bid ended with a disappointing 41-38 loss to rival Oregon State and the Ducks’ next game, against Washington, was canceled due to positive coronavirus tests in the Huskies’ program.