SMU Mustangs at #18 Memphis Tigers: Game Preview

Mustangs WR James Proches needs to have a huge game against Memphis. Photo Courtesy: Mike Carnes
Mustangs WR James Proches needs to have a huge game against Memphis. Photo Courtesy: Mike Carnes
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By Zach Walker

Game Info
SMU Mustangs vs #18 Memphis Tigers
Saturday – November 18 – 11:00 a.m.
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium – Memphis – TN

Records Before the Game
SMU Mustangs: 6-4 (3-3 in AAC)
#18 Memphis Tigers: 8-1 (5-1 in AAC)

Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: I don’t know what the hell showed up to the Naval Academy, but the team that finished the game, wasn’t the team that started the game. The Mustangs did not travel well to Annapolis, but at the half, SMU made the adjustments to make the game a game. Ben Hicks started in park, and finished hot, leading touchdowns drives on four of five drives in the second half. But, you can’t have the first half that SMU had and be successful, and I understand they were a few tackles away from having the chance to have another drive in the second half. In the first half, Hicks was sacked twice and had an interception after his defense recovered a fumble. They weren’t capitalizing on opportunities early to ease the second half, but they were close to breaking the streak of loses versus Navy. If Ben Hicks starts against Memphis, the way he and his offense finished against Navy, it’s going to be one of the more compelling matches of the NCAA football weekend, because Memphis has some heat of their own on defense. Memphis roasted Tulsa, and they did it as a team. Four Tigers registered a sack stat, and six players had pass deflections, with Terrell Carter having three of his own, and having four picks this season.

When Memphis has the ball: Riley Ferguson is still helming the Tigers, and he as a senior has been a shredder. He’s pitching these efficient games, and has matured really well. Ferguson had a four touchdown performance against Tulsa, but he had a healthy running back behind him. Darrell Henderson had a righteous game, a fourteen carry, 123 yard game to stoke the Tigers’ fire. The Mustangs got tossed early against Navy, responded well, really started to bolt the game down and allow the stagnant offense to heat up, and then couldn’t stop a fullback during the final drive and the game got drank away. Anthony Rhone had a big 14 tackle game, and Justin Lawler had ten of his own. The Mustangs are going to have to have a dominant game up front from their stars Kyran Mitchell and Justin Lawler, with big Mason Gentry and Delontae Scott adding some heat.

What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
Embody the upset. Be the team that finished against Navy, and not that started it.

Memphis 42 – SMU 30