Memphis Tigers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Memphis season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Memphis Tigers Preview
Head Coach: Ryan Silverfield
3rd year at Memphis, 14-10
2021 Preview: Overall: 6-6, Conference: 3-5
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Memphis Top 10 Players | Memphis Schedule
Memphis Tigers Preview 2022
It’s not like it wouldn’t have been nice to get the call.
Cincinnati just won the AAC title for a second year in a row. It’s off to the Big 12, likely in 2023.
UCF has an AAC powerhouse for years. It’s off to the Big 12, likely in 2023.
Houston won an AAC title back in 2015, and that’s it. Memphis has won two of them. Houston is off to the Big 12, likely in 2023, and Memphis is still sticking around the old league even though it makes sense geographically, it’s a Tier 1 academic institution, has a decent media market, good enrollment, and …
It stinks, but now Memphis has to make the best of it by positioning itself as the star of the conference that’s going to soon effectively be a heavier version of Conference USA.
Last year’s team went 6-6 in the rebuild with four close losses that easily could’ve gone the other way. The 2022 version is full of veterans on offense, should be strong in the defensive backfield, and overall should be just a wee bit motivated.
Memphis Tigers Preview 2022: Offense
The offense that made its living on home run hitting plays was able to get things going through the air, but the normally devastating running game didn’t go anywhere.
It finished 10th in the AAC even though the line was okay and the offense as a whole finished third in the conference. New offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey knows how to get a ground game going, and that means …
The backs need more work. Brandon Thomas ran well averaging close to six yards per carry with a team-high 669 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman, and he’s not alone. The Tigers have plenty of good backs in the rotation, and they’re piling on with Jevyon Ducker coming in from Northern Illinois.
The O line doesn’t have a ton of stars, but it gets back three starters with the tackles set, Jacob Likes a veteran center, and with Ira Henry coming in from Florida State.
No one seemed to notices with all the Cincinnati drama, but Memphis QB Seth Henigan had a terrific freshman season throwing for over 3,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. He’s not going to run much, and he needs to be a bit more accurate, but he’ll push the ball down the field.
The receiving corps loses its two stars in Calvin Austin and TE Sean Dykes. The next three top targets are back – led by union Javon Ivory – and Joseph Scates is coming in from Iowa State.
Memphis Tigers Preview 2022: Defense
Defense was a mere suggestion at Memphis for years, and it didn’t do enough last year, either. It wasn’t totally miserable, but it allowed over 418 yards and 29 points per game, the secondary got ripped up, and few defenses in America were worse on third downs.
It’s not up to former Ohio State assistant Matt Barnes to figure it all out. He loses a slew of key tacklers, but the secondary should be better if he can generate a pass rush.
The line goes back the five sacks of leading pass rusher Jaylon Allen, but this isn’t a deep group and it needs the bulk on the inside. It’s more about the quickness than the 300+ pound Coke machine inside, but that all has to translate into more plays behind the line.
The 123 stops of leading tackler JJ Russell are gone, but Xavier Cullens is back in the middle and getting Geoffrey Cantin-Arku from Syracuse on the outside helps.
The secondary needs its experience to translate into more production. There are tacklers – safety Quindell Johnson is going to be an All-AAC performer – but the big plays need to come from the corners. The DBs only generated seven interceptions.