Missouri State Bears @ Memphis Tigers
Start time: 7:00 PM EST, Saturday, Sept. 5th
Location: Rex Dockery Field, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Radio: Memphis - AM 600; Missouri State - 101.3 FM (Springfield)
Series Record: First Meeting
Betting Line: No line
On This Date: The Tigers are 1-3 in games played on September 5th (1-1 vs. Ole Miss; 0-2 vs. Mississippi State)
Three Key's to Memphis Victory
Stop the run
The Missouri State Bears made a living with running the ball as they nearly doubled their passing attempts with rushing attempts last season. They averaged roughly 180 yards per game on the ground in a rush by committee type setting. Add to that the fact that the Bears are returning their leading rusher, sophomore Calan Crowder, as well as majority of their offensive line. With a new starter under center for the Bears it should come as no surprise if the Bears try and pound the rock. Winning the battle in the trenches will be key on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers. The Bears rushing attack should provide the new look Tigers defense with plenty of practice.
Exploit the passing game
If you've read any of my earlier writings you should be able to tell that I am all aboard the Paxton Lynch passing train. I think he is great and will continue his greatness this season. Game 1 should kick start a phenominal junior season for Lynch.
The Bears are only returning one player that started all 12 games last season in their secondary. Senior Vashon Landers, the Bears only returning DB, has 1 interception to his credit...for his career. The Bears also are replacing both safeties, Caleb Schaffitzel and Mike Crutcher, who stared in previous seasons. In short, Paxton Lynch should be in for a big game.
Limit mistakes/don't beat yourself
While the Tigers offense comes in to the game with experience and a certain crispness, the defense is still new. In years past the Tigers defense would keep the Tigers in games amid offensive miscues. This season, and especially early on, it is important for the offense to limit mistakes in order for the defense to develop a cohesiveness. The less reliant on the newly tooled defense that the Tigers can be, the better. Limit mistakes on offense and allow the defense to play without pressure and the Tigers should win.
Memphis - 51
Missouri State - 17