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No. 25 Oregon Ducks to face No. 12 Iowa State in Fiesta Bowl

Cyclones lost to Oklahoma in Big 12 title game

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Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough (12) runs the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game for the Pac-12 Conference championship against Southern California Friday, Dec 18, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough (12) runs the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game for the Pac-12 Conference championship against Southern California Friday, Dec 18, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) Photo Gallery

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Fiesta Bowl could add another high-scoring game to its history with No. 12 Iowa State scheduled to face No. 25 Oregon on Jan. 2.

The Cyclones (8-3) dropped four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings to No. 10 after losing to No. 8 Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. The Ducks (4-2, No. 25 CFP) won their second straight Pac-12 championship by beating No. 13 USC on Friday.

The Fiesta Bowl has seen some wild games through the years, including Boise State’s overtime win over Oklahoma in 2007 and a combined 94 points between UCF and Baylor in 2014.

Iowa State has the nation’s leading rusher in Breece Hall, who had 1,436 yards and 19 touchdowns. Quarterback Brock Purdy provided balance to the offense, throwing for 2,594 yards and 18 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

Oregon may not be as prolific offensively as in past seasons, but quarterback Tyler Shough threw for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions in six games.

Iowa State got the 2020 season off to a disappointing start with a home loss to Louisiana, but won seven of its next eight games before losing 27-21 to the Sooners in Saturday’s Big 12 title game.

Oregon (4-2) replaced Washington in the Pac-12 championship game after the Huskies had to pull out due to COVID-19 issues.

The Ducks, who finished second in the Pac-12 North, made the most of the opportunity, beating USC 31-24 for their second straight conference title. They did it despite starting the week thinking they would be playing Colorado.

The win earned Oregon the Pac-12’s automatic bid into a New Year’s Six bowl and got the Ducks back into the AP Top 25 at No. 25.

The Ducks got the Pac-12’s conference-only season off to a strong start, scoring at least 35 points in wins over Stanford, Washington State and UCLA.

Oregon moved up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and had longshot hopes of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff. The playoff bid ended with a disappointing 41-38 loss to rival Oregon State and the Ducks’ next game, against Washington, was canceled due to positive coronavirus tests in the Huskies’ program.

No. 10 Iowa State (8-3, Big 12) vs. No. 25 Oregon (4-2, Pac-12)

WHEN: Jan. 2, 1 p.m., on ESPN

LOCATION: Glendale, Arizona

TOP PLAYERS

Iowa State: RB Breece Hall. The sophomore led the nation with 1,436 yards and scored 19 TDs in 11 games. Hall averaged 5.5 yards per carry and ran for at least 100 yards in Iowa State’s first eight games, with a high of 185 twice.

Oregon: Tyler Shough. The sophomore made the most of his opportunity as Oregon’s starter this season, throwing for 1,480 yards and 13 TDs with five interceptions. Shough completed 63% of his passes.

NOTABLE

Iowa State: The Cyclones were good on both sides of the ball, finishing third in the Big 12 in total offense (441.1 yards per game) and defense (343). QB Brock Purdy threw for 2,594 yards and 18 TDs with nine interceptions in 11 games. His favorite target was Xavier Hutchinson, who had 60 catches for 726 yards and four TDs. Iowa State lost 27-21 to No. 8 Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.

Oregon: The Ducks were a late replacement in the Pac-12 Championship game after Washington had to pull out due to COVID-19 issues. Oregon, which finished second in the Pac-12 North, won its second straight conference title with a 31-24 win over Southern California. The Ducks are 2-0 all-time in the Fiesta Bowl with wins over Colorado in 2002 and Kansas State in 2013.

LAST TIME

First meeting.

BOWL HISTORY

Iowa State: Fourth straight bowl appearance and 15th overall. Iowa State lost to Notre Dame 33-9 in the 2019 Camping World Bowl. First Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon: Third Fiesta Bowl appearance and 34th bowl game overall, including 15th in 16 years. Oregon beat Wisconsin 28-27 in the 2020 Rose Bowl.

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