After tough loss in Big 12 Final, Cyclones look to end year strong against Ducks

LEFT: Tyler Shough #12 of the Oregon Ducks warms up before the game against the USC Trojans during the Pac 12 2020 Football Championship at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty I

The Iowa State Cyclones have been one of college football’s great stories. And they have a chance to bounce back from a loss in the Big XII championship game and show how far they have come when they face PAC-12 champion Oregon in the 2021 Fiesta Bowl on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPN) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Long a second-tier program in the Big 12 and hidden in the long shadows cast by Oklahoma and Texas, the Cyclones came within a late interception of forcing overtime in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma before falling 27-21.  The Cyclones allowed just 21.8 points per game this season and will look to slow down a Ducks offense that averaged 33.7 points per game in a COVID-19 shortened season of six games.

Oregon beat previously unbeaten USC in the PAC-12 championship game by a 31-23 margin at the Coliseum. The Ducks had lost two straight before that and advanced to the conference title game only after PAC-12 North division leader Washington was forced to back out because of multiple Coronavirus cases within the program.

How the Cyclones handle the biggest Bowl game in their history will be a key factor if they can win just their fifth postseason game in school history.

FOX Bet Sportsbook is your sports betting home to get the latest odds, prop bets and bet boosts. Check it out now for special promotions when you open an account. FOX Bet is available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado through the FOX Bet app and online at

The sports betting information

On Sportsbook, the Cyclones are 4-point favorites in this neutral site contest with a money line of -188. (A $188 bet would pay out $100.) The Ducks are +160 (a $100 bet pays $245) with the over-under of 57.5. Iowa State has a strong defense and a grinding offensives style which has led to four straight games which have ended under the line. This could be another one of those outings.

There are plenty of CustomBets, PropBets and other wagers available at to suit any betters wishes. Check it out today and find the special offers that are in play for this holiday weekend.

The history

The two programs have never played against one another and this will be just the 16th appearance in a bowl game by Iowa State – it’s seventh since 2009.  Iowa State has won four times, the last a 21-20 win over Memphis in the 2017 Liberty Bowl. Oregon meanwhile is making its 34th appearance in a postseason game which includes a 28-27 win over Wisconsin in last year’s Rose Bowl.

The storylines to watch

The Cyclones will lean heavily on a veteran defense that has the quality to limit the Ducks attack. Ducks sophomore quarterback Tyler Shough threw just 15 times in a win over USC on Dec. 18th as he was replaced mid-game by senior transfer Anthony Brown, who threw a pair of touchdowns. Shough could start, so it will be important to Iowa State to keep pressure on him.

This looks to be a low scoring affair and the lower the better for the Cyclones who need a strong game from quarterback Brock Purdy and sophomore Breece Hall who has rushed for 1,436 yards and 19 touchdowns this year. Hall turned into one of the best running backs in the country and figures to be the central focus of the Oregon attack.

FOX Bet operates a mobile and online sportsbook and a free-to-play game.
For FOX Bet Sportsbook: Must be 21+. NJ, PA and CO only. Complete terms and conditions can be found in the app and at FOX Bet Services are operated by TSG Interactive US Service LTD. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler (NJ, PA) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO).