Matt Campbell has led his team to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee for the second time in his tenure at Iowa State. Interestingly, this will also be the second time the team faces Memphis in the bowl game. Campbell has the chance to secure a 2-0 record against Memphis and a 2-2 Cyclone overall record in the Liberty Bowl, with losses coming from Johnny Majors and Paul Rhoads. The focus now is on identifying key players who can make an impact in the upcoming game.
Iowa State: Abu Sama
To say Abu Sama went out and took care of business in Manhattan is an understatement. Inside sources have indicated that Sama has taken a handoff in Memphis and just scored again at Bill Snyder Family Stadium as you were reading the intro.
During Abu Sama's senior year at @sep_football, his future position at Iowa State was still unclear.— Jake Brend (@JakeBrendTV) December 28, 2023
There was no uncertainity after his 373 yard, 6 touchdown performance in the 2022 5A State Championship.
Here's Matt Campbell on Sama. #Cyclones @weareiowa5news pic.twitter.com/o2gcmGJ6OM
Abu Sama put up some NCAA14 on Freshman difficulty numbers on a defense in the snow. He totaled 276 rushing yards on 16 carries, one reception for 11 yards, and three rushing touchdowns. His touchdowns consisted of a Breece Hall flashback with the first play of the game being a house call from 71 yards. He then made another touchdown run of 77 yards, and his final touchdown run came in the third quarter for 60 yards.
Abu currently holds the most yards, the highest average, the longest play and the most touchdowns in the runningback room. Eli Sanders and Cartevious Norton both entered the portal shortly after the KSU game meaning the workload now falls on Abu Sama and another Freshman Carson Hansen. With this being their first bowl game, be prepared for CMC and Scheelhaase to help the young players keep the momentum going.
Memphis: Seth Henigan
Seth Henigan is a junior out of Denton, Texas. He held offers from Arizona, Nevada, Houston, San Diego State, and North Texas before committing to Memphis. He was the Day One starter for the Tigers and has played in 36 games for them.
Over his career, he has gone 815-out-of-1,281, passed for 10,412 yards, 75 passing touchdowns, 25 interceptions, 314 carries for 683 yards, and eight rushing touchdowns. This year he is 292-out-of-442, with 3,519 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He has also rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns.
With Iowa State not having All-American T.J. “Air” Tampa at cornerback, Seth will have one less defensive threat he has to overcome to keep the ball moving in the air.