Memphis vs. Mercer fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN
Memphis (0-0) vs. Mercer (0-0) Game Preview
Mercer found a way to do a whole lot of things right, but it wasn’t good at the whole winning thing going 5-6.
Yeah, it got rolled by Alabama, but it managed to push Auburn a bit, and it was amazing at forcing turnovers and making big defensive plays, but the offense wasn’t able to do its part.
That’s not going to fly against a Memphis team looking to keep all of the fun going from last year’s high-octane attack.
With a huge American Athletic Conference date at Navy next week – and a whole lot of easy, winnable games to follow – there’s a realistic chance at starting out the year 6-0 before hosting UCF.
One Reason Why Mercer Will Win
Yeah, you’re aware of that whole defense thing a lot of football teams like to use? Memphis doesn’t really do that.
It might be a veteran group returning, but the Tigers gave up 466 yards per game last season against teams that liked to dink and dunk their way down the field. That’s what Mercer should be able to do with its Pistol offense.
QB Kaelan Riley is back after throwing for over 2,000 yards. He might not be the most accurate passer, but he’s a veteran who can be efficient with the passing game.
One Reason Why Memphis Will Win
Yeah, you’re aware of that whole pass rush thing a lot of football teams like to use? Mercer doesn’t really do that.
Of course, it’s a new year with a new outlook, but the Bears were miserable at getting into the backfield last season. Eight starters might return to their defense, but they only came up with 16 sacks. Give the Memphis passing game time to work, and uh-oh.
Arizona State transfer Brady White appears to be the next Tiger quarterback up, but David Moore is right there for the starting job. Both should get a chance to show what they can do in what should be a decent tune-up game.
What’s Going To Happen
Turnovers were a massive problem last season for the Tigers, and they will be again to start the season with the new parts getting going. Mercer will be +2 in turnover margin, doing just enough to keep the game close and making it interesting.
But the Bears won’t have the pop to keep up the pace once Memphis finds its groove. The running game will take over as the game goes on behind a line that gets four starters back and should be among the best in the AAC.
Give it a bit, and the Memphis will be fine midway through the second half.