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Houston Cougars vs. Memphis Tigers Game Preview

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Memphis and Houston are headed in different directions, but will play an intense ame.

Memphis v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Two teams that had conference championship aspirations heading into the season went separate directions. Memphis is looking to make its third consecutive appearance in the AAC Championship Game, while Houston’s looking to 2020. That doesn’t mean this game won’t be close, but one team has more to lose than the other. Last time Memphis came to TDECU Stadium as a ranked favorite, they needed a last minute touchdown to win the game. That could be the case again Saturday.

Date: Saturday, November 16th
Start time: 2:30pm CT
How to watch: ESPN2
Line: Memphis -10.5
Location: TDECU Stadium (Houston, TX)


Players to watch

Houston

QB Clayton Tune
WR Marquez Stevenson
OT Josh Jones
DE Payton Turner
NB Grant Stuard

Memphis

RB Kenneth Gainwell
QB Brady White
CB TJ Carter
WR Antonio Gibson
LB Austin Hall

Houston Outlook

Well, the roller coaster ride’s coming to an end. All of the drama Houston endured this season has simmered down, and they can now focus on playing football and planning for the future. The biggest question for the Coogs is their quarterback play. Clayton Tune, outside of one game, has been wildly inconsistent. He’s thrown for 407 yards in one game, but didn’t eclipse 200 in the other three. One game he completed just 33.3% of his passes, while another he completed 80%. Houston’s chances of winning their last three games. That, and they’ll need their defense to continue improving. Defending the Memphis Tigers won’t be easy, but this is a Cougars defense that’s made improvements every week.

Memphis Outlook

As of right now, the Tigers are the leaders in the AAC West. If they win out, they’re in the conference championship game. Kenneth Gainwell’s emergence in the absence of Patrick Taylor provided Memphis with the spark they needed offensively. Throw in an improved Brady White, and Mike Norvell’s team is as balanced as it’s ever been. They just can’t afford a letdown. Their goal is making the conference championship game, and they need to treat every game with the same intensity.

Prediction

Houston’s looking for answers, but not for this year. Next season is what Dana Holgorsen’s squad is focusing on going forward, and upsets are just an added bonus. Memphis has big goals for this season, but the Cougars wouldn’t mind throwing a wrench in things. The Tigers don’t have any cushion to slip up, but it doesn’t look like this is the week that happens. MEMPHIS 41 HOUSTON 21