Memphis Football Bowl Recap: Tigers Handle Home Game Against Iowa State

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The Memphis Tigers quieted their critics last week, thanks to a wire-to-wire win inside their home stadium over the Iowa State Cyclones in the 2023 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The 36-26 win on Dec. 29 was Memphis’ third straight bowl win across Tennessee sportsbooks, with the Liberty Bowl joining last year’s First Responder Bowl victory over Utah State and 2020’s Montgomery Bowl rout of FAU.  

This year’s bowl win came in large part on the shoulders of quarterback Seth Henigan, who threw for 364 yards and four scores while posting a 95.3 QBR in the win, while running back Blake Watson added 107 yards to bolster Memphis’ chances. Throw in receiver Roc Taylor’s 107 receiving yards on eight catches and you have a pretty good idea of how Memphis was able to win this year’s Liberty Bowl, despite the bad beat that was the Tigers’ failure to clear the pregame 10.5-point spread on ESPN Bet Tennessee in favor of the hometown team. has spent the fall breaking down the odds on where the Tigers’ bowl odds would take them, leaving us to wonder where Memphis will go from here under head coach Ryan Silverfield.  

Here’s what Tigers’ fans should know about the program’s offseason, fresh off the school’s 10-point win over the Cyclones in the 2023 Liberty Bowl:  

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Memphis Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Bowl Game Details

Date/Time/Stadium Matchup Score
Dec 29th; 2:30pm ET (ESPN); Liberty StadiumIowa State vs. MemphisMemphis 36, Iowa State 26

2023 Memphis Tigers Flew To New Heights To Earn Bowl Game Bid

The fourth year of Silverfield’s run at Memphis saw new highs in wins (10) and American Athletic Conference victories (six), with the Tigers beating perennial power Boise State, in addition to programs like UAB, North Texas, Charlotte, Temple and Navy. Throw in close losses to some of the nation’s hottest teams, such as Missouri (34-27), SMU (38-34) and Tulane (31-21), and you have a solid season for the Tigers this fall. 

What else helped the Tigers close the year with a win? As you can see below, the Tigers had the shortest distance to travel of any teams participating in this year's bowl slate. 

Shortest Distance Traveled For CFB Bowl Season

Rank Team Bowl Location Bowl
1Memphis TigersLiberty BowlMemphis, TN7 miles
T2UCLA BruinsLA BowlInglewood, CA11 miles
T2Boston College EaglesFenway BowlBoston, MA11 miles

Where Will The Tigers Roam In 2024?

It seems like Silverfield will have to build onto this year’s roster through the transfer portal during the offseason, as Memphis currently has the sixth ranked class in the AAC, per 247 Sports.  

As far as the Tigers’ schedule in 2024, Memphis will play FCS program North Alabama, in addition to Troy and Middle Tennessee State at home during the non-conference season, to go with a road game against Norvell’s new team (FSU) in Tallahassee on Sept. 14.  

While we don’t know Memphis’ AAC schedule yet, we can guess that the Tigers will face a daunting slate of games against familiar foes, as the conference’s eight-game slate unfolds through the fall. 

Keep it here for more Memphis football news, plus a FanDuel Tennessee promo code.

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Memphis Tigers Bowl Game FAQs


Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.