College Football News Preview 2020: Memphis Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Memphis Offense
Keep the fun going. Oh sure, the defense went from totally miserable to just being sort of miserable, but that might change a bit with the new coaching staff and DC Mike McIntyre. It’s still not going to be a brick well.
Putting up huge yards doesn’t always guarantee anything when it comes to Memphis – like in the loss to Penn State – but the explosiveness certainly helps.
The Tigers averaged 6.85 yards per play – only eight other teams – teams like, LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State – were able to average more. That was down from the over seven yards per play they averaged in 2018, but it was still a deadly attack that kept on putting the pressure on.
It can’t slow down. Memphis has to be ready for shootout after shootout. Despite all the success over the past few seasons, this isn’t a complete team. Cranking up over 485 yards per game can help that.
Biggest Key To The Memphis Defense
For all of the good things the defense was able to do compared to previous seasons, the team still gave up more yards per game than anyone else and still got ripped to shreds on the ground.
It’s fine when the team gets into shootout after shootout, but allowing 200 yards or more five times in the last 11 games – including the 396-yard day in the Cotton Bowl loss to Penn State – wasn’t okay.
Memphis was able to win most of the games when it got rolled – it allowed 193 rushing yards in the loss to Temple – and there aren’t a slew of killer ground games to deal with for most of the season. However, the second half games against UCF, Cincinnati, Navy and Tulane will be the big tests.
Key Memphis Player To A Successful Season
C/OG Dylan Parham, Jr.
Extremely athletic for an interior blocker, the 6-3, 286-pounder could play anywhere on the line and might have the feet to work as a tackle on the right side if needed. However, with longtime leader of the front Dustin Woodard gone at center, this is where Parham could step right in.
The all-star on the field and in the classroom has everything needed to move one spot over and be the quarterback of an interesting front five. There are enough parts for the other four jobs, but replacing Woodard is the tough one.
Key Game To The Memphis Season
at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
In the new world of the post-UConn American Athletic Conference, there is no East or West – the top two teams will play for the league title. There’s a week off before facing UCF in mid-october, and a few weeks later is the date at Cincinnati in a rematch of last year’s championship.
The Tigers will play for the AAC title if they win both of those, will be out if they lose both – most likely – and will be alive if they split. Taking out the Bearcats on the road would be a huge deal with dangerous road games at Navy and Tulane still to go.
– Memphis Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Memphis Fun Stats
– Red Zone Scores: Opponents 46-of-50 (92%) – Memphis 50-of-61 (82%)
– Onside Kicks: Memphis 2-of-4 – Opponents 0-for-2
– Passing TDs: Memphis 33 – Opponents 15