Can't find a Memphis blog as of yet, but we'll do the best preview of the Tigers that we can here. And we start with this: Memphis is not good at football.
So far they've played Duke, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, Central Florida, Houston, SMU, Cinci, and Tennessee Martin. They're 2-6. Their quarterback completes Paxton Lynch completes 6.16 yards per attempt, has 6 TD's and 8 INT's, and he's the only guy they've played all season. This begs the obvious question: how bad are his backups??
Brandon Hayes (132 carries for 625 yards, 4 TDs) and Marquis Warford (50-625-1) split most of the carries at tailback, and the Tigers throw it as often as they run it. Total rushes: 306. Total pass attempts: 271 251 20 QB sacks = 271. They've gained an average of 4.9 yards per play, and have 19 turnovers (11 fumbles lost of 18 total, 7 INT's). Those numbers are terrible
Seven different receivers that have caught at least 10 passes for the Tigers this season, led by Joe Craig's 31 receptions for 284 yards. But none of their stats on offense are anywhere near impressive, and it's not like they're playing an SEC West schedule. This is a team the USF defense should be able to impose their will and make plays against.
Defensively Memphis is much better. They've allowed only eight offensive TD's in eight games this season, and are 16th in the country in total defense allowing only 338.6 yards per game. Their 4.85 yards per play allowed is good enough for 8th in the country against FBS opponents. Tank Jakes leads the team with 51 tackles, but defensive end Martin Ifedi is one to watch for with big plays: he's got 12.5 tackles for loss this season, 8.5 of them for sacks.
But again it's not like they've played a monster schedule here. Their defense will also have a full game tape to pick apart Mike White and try and force him out of his comfort zone. But Marcus Shaw was described as 100% in the team press conference today, and that will be the first time USF will have their full complement of weapons on offense to move the ball in 2013.
Memphis opened as a 2.5 point favorite in Vegas, but that shows that oddsmakers can't possibly watch every game. USF with their revitalized offense seems to be the better team here, and should win this one. Though the Tigers are the same team they've been all season, the Bulls appear to be dramatically improved from their opening week.