2019 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Preview

Penn State Quarterback Sean Clifford tries to get around Buffalo defensive tackle Ronald McGee during the Nittany Lions’ game against the Bulls on Sept. 7. Photo Courtesy: Penn State

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
#17 Memphis Tigers vs #10 Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday – December 28 – 11:00 a.m.
TV: ESPN
AT&T Stadium – Arlingtron, TX

Records Before the Game
#17 Memphis Tigers (12-1)
#10 Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2)

Memphis shocked the college world this year by winning the AAC crown. The Tigers only lost one game. Penn State is looking to rebuild itself with a win against a really talented team.

How Memphis State got here
Memphis won 5 of their last 5 games beating Cincinnati in back to back weeks, the second game was for a conference title. They are scoring on the average of 40 points while giving up 24. This team is dangerous.

How Penn State got here
Winners of 3 out of their last 5 games… Penn State has quality wins over Iowa, Michigan and a tough Michigan State team.

Memphis 12-1
No one saw this coming. At the beginning of the season Memphis was slated to win five games for the year. No one sent that losing schedule to the Tigers. Memphis is lead by Quarterback Brady White and he has great numbers this year. He has passed for 3560 yards with 33 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. The key player for this offense is running back Kenneth Gainwell has to get touches early. If Gainwell doesn’t get his share of touches, he could have less of an impact for the offense. The Memphis offense is a run first offense but can and will put the ball in the air. Wide Receiver Damonte Coxie is a younger version of T.Y. Hilton (Colts) and is just as dangerous running routes.

Penn State 10-2
The Penn State game plan is simple! Get out in front and stay there. Penn State is lead by a very heady quarterback in Sean Clifford. His numbers read as follows 22 touchdowns, 6 interceptions with 2521 passing yards this season. He’s very capable of navigating this offense through tough times. Running back Journey Brown has 10 TDs on the ground. He’s really good running the ball between the tackles. He averages 4.1 yard a carry this year. Look for KJ Hamler to get the majority of his receptions from the slot this game. Trust me if Memphis defensive backs center the game plan around Hamler they can walk out of Dallas with a win.

Prediction
ESPN has Penn State with a 71% chance of winning this one. The over/under is 60.5. Take the under in this one its the safe bet! I’m taking Penn State by 7!

Final Score
Penn State – 31
Memphis – 21