Southern Methodist University Mustangs @ Memphis Tigers
Start time: 12:00 PM EST, Saturday, Nov. 28th
Location: Rex Dockery Field, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Radio: Memphis - AM 600; SMU - AM 770 (Dallas)
Series Record: Memphis leads the series 4 games to 3
Betting Line: Memphis -21.5; o/u 71.5
On This Date: The Tigers are 4-1 in games played on November 28th
Three Key's to Memphis Victory:
Find Paxton Lynch
Lynch has been a star this season. In the Tigers 8 wins Lynch has averaged nearly 340 yards per game and a couple touchdowns. Since the 4th quarter in Houston however, Lynch has been a shell of himself. He has passed for 207 yards, no touchdowns, and a pick.
The leadership Lynch displays on Saturday will be key to the Tigers outcome. If Lynch comes out fresh and on point the Tigers should roll SMU easily. However, if Lynch continues in his current funk the Tigers could see trouble. While Lynch is still a shoe in for the NFL he will need to bounce back in order to get the Tigers back on track.
Find The Run Game/Stop The SMU Run Game
Memphis has been decent at run stop as well as rushing this season. The Tigers, however, enter the weekend against SMU quite banged up. Last week the Tigers were only able to muster 76 rushing yards against Temple. Freshman Jamarius Henderson ended up having surgery this past week to add to the Tigers woes. Expect a heavy dose of Doroland Dorceus and Sam Craft against the Mustangs.
On the opposite side of the ball the Tigers have struggled stopping the run as of late. In their last 3 games the Tigers have given up an average of 233 yards per game. Tigers opponents in the last 3 games have also rushed for 11 touchdowns. We knew the Tigers pass defense was awful but the bleeding in the run game must stop. The Tiger front 4 will have their hands full with an SMU offense that rushed Matt Davis and Xavier Jones for 273 yards and 4 scores last week against Tulane.
This week there have been plenty of headlines revolving around Memphis head coach Justin Fuente and his future with the program. There is no doubt that players surely have noticed the media attention and, in all likelihood, know the outcome. Fuente has skirted media questions in regard to his reported move to Virginia Tech. Throughout his time at Memphis Fuente has been excellent at "blocking out the noise" and gaining his teams focus. If he is unable to do so this week the Tigers could find themselves in an early hole.
Memphis - 41
SMU - 24