2012 Liberty Bowl final score: Tulsa tops Iowa State, 31-17

USA TODAY Sports

Tulsa captured the 2012 Liberty Bowl on Tuesday, defeating Iowa State 31-17, thanks in large part to a dominant ground game.

Trey Watts carried the ball 25 times for 149 yards, leading the Tulsa Golden Hurricane to a 31-17 win over the Iowa State Cyclones in the 2012 Liberty Bowl.

Iowa State couldn't find an answer to Tulsa's ground attack, as Tulsa accumulated 320 yards on the ground. By contrast, the Cyclones only mustered 98 yards on the ground on 28 carries.

Tulsa's successful running game allowed the Golden Hurricane to dominate time of possession, as Tulsa held the ball for 35:32.

Alex Singleton carried the ball 14 times for just 34 yards, but scored three touchdowns.

Iowa State's offense failed to establish any rhythm. Neither Sam Richardson nor Steele Jantz was effective at quarterback for Iowa State. Richardson completed just 10-of-21 passes for 129 yards, with a touchdown and interception to his credit. Jantz entered the game in relief of Richardson, and completed just 3-of-5 passes for 33 yards and an interception.

Jantz's interception came with under four minutes left to play, essentially icing the game for Tulsa.

Despite the ineffective play of Jantz and Richardson, Iowa State jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter, but Tulsa responded with 24 unanswered points to end the game.

Tulsa quarterback Cody Green completed just 11-of-23 passes for 93 yards and an interception, but his ineffective play was irrelevant because of Tulsa's dominant ground game.

Iowa State has now lost consecutive bowl games, after losing the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl 27-13 to Rutgers.

Tulsa's win gives them its second Liberty Bowl victory in school history. Tulsa's other Liberty Bowl win came in 2005, when the Golden Hurricane defeated Fresno State.

Box Score Hero: Trey Watts averaged over 6 yards per carry, leading Tulsa to the victory.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither Iowa State nor Tulsa figures to enter the final top 25 rankings of the season.

But Did They Cover? Tulsa entered the game as two-point favorites, and covered the spread.

For More On This Game: For more on Clones football, visit Iowa State blog Wide Right & Natty Lite.

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