By Zach Walker
Memphis Tigers vs. SMU Mustangs
Saturday – October 25 – 11 am
Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas
Records before the game:
SMU Mustangs: 0-6 (0-2 in AAC)
Memphis Tigers: 3-3 (1-1 in AAC)
Two players for both teams, to watch:
QB Garrett Krstich – Going into this game, it’s going to be different for Krstich and the offense. Early on in the Krstich era, he was just the best of the group of quarterbacks available for SMU/ After the East Carolina game, there was a sense of they really have somebody to go forward with. That’s why the Cincinnati game was such a bummer, it was such a step backwards from the high of the East Carolina game. I’ll blame the open week between that game and the loss against Cincinnati, because no team wants to get hot, then have to bottle that and try and re-open what they had built up.
CB Shakiel Randolph – I’m going let it ride on Randolph, because he had multiple pass breakups, and he should have had a pair of interceptions. This weekend, against Paxton Lynch, he should get more opportunities to get his team back the ball. The Tigers’ big man on the outside, Tevin Jones, is 6 foot 2 where Randolph is 6 foot 4, even if Jones gets off the line better and past Randolph, if the ball is thrown anyway but perfect, Randolph is going to have a shot at it.
LB Tank Jakes – For an undersized linebacker (5’11” 225lbs) his play is far from undersized. Against Middle Tennessee State, Tank recorded seven tackles, three of which were for a loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble that was returned for a touchdown, an interception, and a safety. So that’s every box that a defensive player can check with his play. He was everywhere on the field when the Tigers took the UCLA Bruins for a ride in the second game of the year, 11 solo tackles, four for loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble. This guy is a monster and he’ll be everywhere that the ball will be.
DE Martin Ifedi – Some players in college football, you can just look at and know that they’ll translate to the NFL. Before this season, Ifedi had never missed a game, but he came back against Houston and racked up seven tackles. If Ifedi can return to his 2013 form, that is 10 and a half sacks, the Tigers can make some serious noise, and Ifedi could make a serious run at the NFL.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
In the loss against Cincinnati, the Mustangs averaged 4.1 yards per carry, yes, the Bearcats had the WORST rushing defense going into the game, but that’s extremely positive, something to build off of. Remember that all games played, have been played, have no bearing on the upcoming game, and that goes for wins as well.
Prediction: Memphis 35 – SMU 17. Please let me be wrong about this, I want to see this team win. But Memphis is a strong team, and they aren’t going to serve a lay-up for the Mustangs. The Mustangs need to take it straight at the Tigers, because why be conservative at this point.