One of the surprise teams of 2014, the Memphis Tigers aim to keep the ball rolling when they take on Tulane. Meanwhile, down in the Crescent City, somebody decided to schedule a good team for the first-ever homecoming at Yulman Stadium. It could be a weekend to remember, or one where you go to Bourbon Street.
Start Time: 3:30 ET Nov. 15
Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Streaming: WatchESPN.com/WatchESPN App
Records: Memphis (6-3, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) Tulane (3-6, 2-3)
Live Stats: Yezzir.
Memphis Outlook: Tall. Sophomore quarterback Paxton Lynch stands 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 230 pounds. He's thrown for 2,121 yards so far this year with 11 touchdowns passing and seven rushing against six interceptions.
AAC leaders Memphis continue their push for a conference championship, with the only blemish coming against Houston, and Lynch is the main weapon in that effort.
It's not quite this (just click it, don't ask questions) but Memphis running back Brandon Hayes stands nearly a full foot shorter than the man who hands off to him. Hayes stands 5-foot-8 and 198 pounds. He's got 604 yards, 5.1 per carry, and 5 touchdowns on the season. Hayes also knows how to live the good life. He's s a sixth-year college student (wish I'da done that) and wants to keep the party going against the Green Wave.
Defense is where Memphis shines. They've held their last three opponents to a combined 43 points. The Tiger D ranks 30th nationally in total defense and 13th in points allowed. They give up less than five yards per play and 349 per game.
Last time out, Memphis scraped by Temple to the tune of 16-13. That looks bad on paper but Temple still has a winning record and knocked ECU out of the access bowl conversation two weeks back.
Since the basketball Tigers just lost to something called Christian Brothers, which is apparently a Division II school and not a used car dealership, fans will especially enjoy a victory this weekend.
Nice digs yo.
Clearly bucking the trend of homecoming cupcakes, Tulane scheduled a team with twice as many wins and twice the chance of coming out on top. It could be a homecoming for the ages!! ... Or the Green Wave could officially be out of the postseason.
Keep in mind though, last week Tulane beat Houston 31-24, and Houston is the only AAC team to beat Memphis. So the ol' transitive property of football weighs in favor of the home team.
Also, according to the Times Picayune, some Tulane fans are mad at Athletic Director Rick Dickson and could rent a plane trailing a "Fire Dickson" message. Not sure that has any bearing on the game, but you'll sound smart when you tell friends about it at the tailgate.
Anyway, the young team is led by redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee and freshman running back Sherman Badie. Scoring isn't Tulane's strong suit. They've been held to less than 22 points in six of their nine games, and scored 12 points in a win against UConn Oct. 11. Tulane needed four turnovers to reach 31 points against Houston last week.
Lee's been a bit of a turnover machine with 10 interceptions against 12 touchdown passes. Also, his backup is Nick "Yes that Montana" Montana, a journeyman who spiked the ball on fourth down earlier this year. Show your friends.
Tulane ranks in the middle of the nation, 59th, in total defense.
Prediction: Memphis blues beats New Orleans jazz this weekend. The Tigers are simply a better team than their opponent and I don't see Yulman Stadium providing a huge home field advantage for the Green Wave. The visitors win and cover.
As far as over/under, obviously oddsmakers expect a low scoring game. Half the time, the winning team clears 47 points by itself these days. The total for this game is one of the lowest in the country, though Vegas has Penn State and Temple sleeping their way to just 39. In contrast, the Cal/USC total was 71.5. I digress. Don't be cute, take the over.