It’s bowl season déjá vu.
The Memphis Tigers and Iowa State Cyclones will square off in the 2023 Liberty Bowl in a rematch of an identical bowl game from 2017.
This is Memphis’ second appearance in the Liberty Bowl, which takes place at its home venue of Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. The Tigers are 29-6 in their last 35 games at the stadium and posted a 4-2 record there this season.
Memphis (9-3, 6-2 AAC) was among the AAC’s elite in 2023. The Tigers knocked off Mountain West champion Boise State in non-conference play and obtained six conference wins to secure its most successful campaign since 2019. Their only three losses transpired against currently ranked AP Poll opponents — Missouri, SMU, and Tulane — by an average of seven points. The Tigers ride one of the longer bowl streaks in the country at 10 consecutive seasons, although their 2021 Hawaii Bowl vs. Hawaii was canceled due to COVID-19 complications.
Including that canceled Hawaii Bowl, Memphis will go bowling for the fourth time in four seasons under head coach Ryan Silverfield, who guided them to victories in the 2020 Montgomery Bowl and 2022 First Responder Bowl.
Iowa State (7-5, 6-3 Big 12) returns to bowl season after a one-year absence in 2021. The Cyclones bounced back from a 1-2 non-conference start with notable conference victories over Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Matt Campbell guided this program to its sixth bowl appearance in seven years. Iowa State aims for its first bowl victory since winning the Fiesta Bowl in the 2020 pandemic-adjusted season. This will be the school’s fourth Liberty Bowl appearance.
Memphis and Iowa State most recently met in the 2017 Liberty Bowl, where the Cyclones knocked off the Tigers in 21-20 fashion. That is their only meeting all-time.
The 2023 Liberty Bowl kicks off from Memphis, TN on Dec. 29. It will be nationally televised on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT.