After going 6 of 7 with 114 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, Richardson was 4 of 14 for 15 yards with an interception the rest of the way while battling flu-like symptoms. Jantz replaced Richardson early in the fourth quarter.
"You can't ask much more from a young player like Sam," said Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein, who tied a Liberty Bowl record with 19 tackles. "He's going to have a great career the rest of his time here at Iowa State. That's the type of people we want to build this program around, people that will give it up, no matter what condition they're in."
Iowa State delighted a partisan crowd by taking the 17-7 lead on Edwin Arceo's 33-yard field goal, Jeremy Reeves' 31-yard interception return and Ernst Brun's 69-yard reception. Tulsa has the smallest enrollment of any Football Bowl Subdivision program, and about 80 percent of the 53,687 fans were dressed in Iowa State cardinal-and-gold.
But after moving the ball at will in the opening period, Iowa State's offense did virtually nothing right the rest of the day.
"Games are often won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and we did not play a physical enough brand of football to move the sticks enough and stay on the field enough to get it in the red zone, let alone get it in the end zone," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said.
Tulsa took the lead for good with a pair of touchdown runs — 8 yards by quarterback Cody Green and 2 yards Singleton — in the first four minutes of the second quarter.
The Golden Hurricanes' comeback followed a familiar pattern. Tulsa headed into the bowl game ranked third in the nation in sacks (48) and 11th in rushing (240.2).
"These guys are a very tough-minded, physical and resilient team," Blankenship said. "I couldn't be prouder."