Teams & Conferences

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 62 Memphis Tigers

2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 62 Memphis Tigers


The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Memphis Tigers


Contact @PeteFiutak

No. 62: Memphis Tigers

Memphis Tigers Prespring Status

Forgetting for a moment how the Tigers got bombed by Western Kentucky in the Boca Raton Bowl, the team that finished hot in a rebuilding year under Mike Norvell be ready to star as one of the American Athletic Conference’s top teams. It was a spotty season with the high-powered offense doing what it could to overcome a defense that allowed 455 yards a game. It’ll once again be a year full of shootouts, but the team is equipped for the firefights.

QB Riley Ferguson and eight other starters are back on an offense that should be unstoppable at times, but can the D do its part? Just six starters are back, but the losses shouldn’t be too big of a killer. However, the loss of K Jake Elliott is a problem – he was one of the league’s best.

Memphis Tigers Biggest Issue

Cornerback. The secondary did a good job overall of coming up with picks and big plays, but it also allowed 250 yards per game. Now it has to find new guys on the outside. Arthur Maulet was the team’s best coverman who came up with 72 stops, and Chauncey Lanier was okay on the other side making 41 stops. They’re gone, along with Dontrell Nelson, who was knocked out for a bit but was a key part of the rotation.

Memphis Tigers Biggest Positive

Ferguson. He might not be the pro prospect Paxton Lynch turned into, but he proved last season he could keep the offense moving throwing for close to 3,700 yards and 32 scores, with four rushing scores. He’s got the size and the arm to push the ball downfield, and he’ll move up the NFL draft charts throughout the season if he comes up with another big year. With 95-catch, 14-touchdown top target Anthony Miller back, and three of the top four wideouts returning, look out. Getting back leading rusher Doroland Dorceus and the top three backs doesn’t hurt, either.

Really, Why Are The Memphis Tigers Ranked Here?

Can the Memphis defense step up and do enough to battle with the better offenses? The offense, again, should be dangerous, and Norvell and the coaching staff should be able to hit their stride. This is when the bounceback was supposed to happen after losing Justin Fuente, Lynch, and a slew of key players from the 2015 team, and now it just might – even if 2016 wasn’t that bad.