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Memphis vs. ECU Game Preview

Darrell Henderson returns, and the Tigers focus on a bowl game.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday, November 3rd

Time: 11:00am CT

Where: Dowd-Ficklen Stadium

Line: Memphis -13


A bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Memphis Tigers. Two plays ruined their chances to upset UCF, and they got destroyed by Missouri while also losing their best player. It was time to regroup and refocus. Sitting at 4-4 isn’t where anyone thought this team would be, but here they are. A bowl game is still within reach, and can be attainable within the next two games.

ECU is a better team than they were last year, but they’re still not on the same level as the Tigers. Memphis also gets back their All-American. Side note: it’s crazy to think that Henderson could receive All-American honors, but not win conference player of the year. It was highly unlikely that Henderson would have kept his team in the game against Missouri, mostly because Patrick Taylor played well in his absence. Having both in the backfield will be huge for this offense.

Just like last year, everything depends on Memphis’ defense. The secondary got torched by Drew Lock, and ECU is looking to do the same. Trevon Brown is the best receiver in the conference, and will test this group. Memphis certainly can win a shootout easily, but they would prefer it if that wasn’t necessary. The Pirates quarterback situation seems to be in good hands regardless of who plays. Reid Herring has been solid so far this season, but he may not play with concerns from a concussion. Freshman Holton Ahlers is coming off a game against UCF in which he threw for 406 yards, and he might justifying the excitement fans had for his arrival on campus.

All talk surrounding the Memphis Tigers has died down with their struggles, but this is still a good team. They may not be in contention for a conference championship, but this isn’t a group that you want to face. Like we talked about, two games separate Memphis from a bowl game, and that shouldn’t be too difficult against ECU and Tulsa. Momentum from two wins like that could help them immensely when they end the year with SMU and Houston. For now, give the ball to Henderson, dare ECU to stop him, and get the defense to get some stops. For ECU, they proved they can move the ball against the national champs, but they need to convert that into points. Memphis is going to score, and the Pirates might have to prove they can keep up.

Memphis 42 ECU 28