Rocco Becht, Top Iowa State vs. Memphis Players to Watch – AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Written By PlayPicks Staff on December 9, 2023

The Iowa State Cyclones and the Memphis Tigers will meet for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 29, 2023, with kickoff at 3:30 PM ET, airing on ESPN.

The Cyclones last took to the field against the Kansas State Wildcats, and they emerged victorious 42-35. The Tigers picked up a 59-50 win last time out against the South Florida Bulls.

In that last outing for the Cyclones, Rocco Becht completed eight of 12 passing attempts (66.7%) and totaled 230 yards through the air, connecting on three touchdown passes. Abu Sama III had 16 rushing attempts and finished with 276 yards and three touchdowns. Jaylin Noel found paydirt twice, and ended the contest with three catches for 160 yards.

For the Tigers in their last game, Seth Henigan completed 18 of 28 passing attempts (64.3%) and totaled 250 yards through the air, completing four touchdown passes but giving away one interception. Blake Watson had 15 rushing attempts and wound up with 95 yards and one touchdown while also hauling in four receptions for 39 yards and one touchdown. Joseph Scates found paydirt once, and ended the contest with four catches for 78 yards.

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Iowa State Players to Watch

  • Becht leads his team with 2,674 passing yards (222.8 per game) and has a 63.5% completion percentage (209-of-329), throwing 20 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.
  • Sama III has picked up a team-best 610 rushing yards (61 per game) and six touchdowns.
  • Eli Sanders has 477 yards on 102 carries (53 ypg), with four rushing touchdowns.
  • Jayden Higgins has 44 catches, leading his team with 769 yards (64.1 ypg) while scoring five touchdowns this season.
  • Noel has chipped in with 741 yards (on 60 catches) and six touchdowns.
  • Benjamin Brahmer has collected 320 yards on 26 receptions with two touchdowns, averaging 26.7 yards per game.

Memphis Players to Watch

  • Henigan leads his team with 3,516 passing yards (293 per game) and has a 66.4% completion percentage (293-of-441), throwing 28 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also has 247 rushing yards on 88 carries (with four touchdowns), averaging 20.6 yards per game.
  • Watson has picked up a team-high 1,045 rushing yards (87.1 yards per game) and scored 14 touchdowns. He has added 50 catches for 463 yards (38.6 receiving yards per game) with three receiving touchdowns.
  • Sutton Smith has rushed for 283 yards on 59 carries (23.6 yards per game), with two touchdowns on the ground this year.
  • This season Roc Taylor has 61 receptions for a team-high 981 receiving yards (81.8 per game) and four touchdowns.
  • DeMeer Blankumsee has contributed with 825 yards on 51 catches and six touchdowns. He averages 68.8 receiving yards per game this year.

Iowa State Recent Stat Leaders

  • The Cyclones’ defensive unit has been aided by Tanner Hughes in their last three games, who has delivered .
  • The Clones’ defense has been aided in their last three games by the play of Sanders, who has compiled .
  • Arlen Harris has hit the gridiron for of the Cyclones’ last three games, totaling .
  • Becht has been a key part of the Cyclones’ defense in their last three games, with .

Memphis Recent Stat Leaders

  • Marcus Lee Jr. has registered in the Tigers’ last three games.
  • Jacob Likes has been providing a big boost on defense, compiling for the Tigers in their last three outings.
  • The Tigers’ Kobe Drake has amassed in the Tigers’ last three games.
  • Keveionta Spears has amassed five tackles for the Tigers in their last three contests.

Iowa State vs. Memphis Odds

Favorite Spread Favorite Spread Odds Underdog Spread Odds Total Over Total Odds Under Total Odds
Iowa State -9.5 -112 -108 57.5 -108 -112

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Team Stat Comparison

Iowa State Memphis
Off. Points per Game (Rank) 26.3 (78) 39.7 (11)
Def. Points per Game (Rank) 21.7 (32) 29 (86)
Turnovers Allowed (Rank) 8 (16) 12 (46)
Turnovers Forced (Rank) 16 (25) 17 (17)

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