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Iowa History Daily: December 31 - Cyclones in the Sun Bowl

Iowa History Daily: On December 31, 1971, the Iowa State Cyclones gained distinction as the “Iowa sports story of the year” by making the school’s first ever bowl appearance. Led by legendary Cyclone George Amundson, Iowa State finished a memorable regular season 8-3 with an appearance in the Sun Bowl.

Head Coach Johnny Majors entered his fourth season with high-hopes for the Cyclones. After starting the season 3-0, Iowa State stumbled against number five Colorado at Clyde Williams Field in Ames. Bouncing back to beat both Kansas and Kansas State, back-to-back losses to number two Oklahoma and top-ranked Nebraska slowed down the Cyclones. Finishing the regular season 8-3 earned Iowa State a match-up with LSU in El Paso, Texas.

Amundson, a standout for the Cyclones in both track and football, started his career in Ames as a quarterback before injuries forced him to tailback for the 1971 season. Setting a school record with 1,260 yards and 15 touchdowns, Amundson etched his name in Cyclone lore. The following year, as a senior, Amundson moved back to quarterback where he became the first Cyclone to top 2,000 yards of total offense in a season.

Johnny Majors, named Big Eight Coach of the Year, led the program into the Sun Bowl as the first to ever do so in the program’s 79-year football history. The Cyclones showed up ready to roll, and played stout defense during the first-half to tail 6-3. A third quarter offensive-explosion ultimately carried LSU to the victory. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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