Memphis vs Utah State prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Tuesday, December 27
Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction Game Preview
Memphis vs Utah State How To Watch
Date: Tuesday, December 27
Game Time: 3:15 ET
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Memphis (6-6), Utah State (6-6)
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Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 5 Things To Know
– Memphis crashed down the stretch with a four game losing streak against the tough teams on the AAC slate, and it didn’t help to close the regular season with a loss to SMU. Basically, the Tigers beat the bad teams and lost to the good ones. Even so, it’s a fun offensive team, there’s enough explosion to hit a slew of big plays, and now it’s here and as close to intact as reasonable, unlike …
– Utah State isn’t exactly a mess, but it’s missing a bunch. It’s going to be very, very thin at the skill spots with the loss of 1,043-yard rusher Calvin Tyler to the NFL world a big hit.
The Aggies started out 1-4, pulled up out of the nosedive to go 5-1 as the offense got sharper and the turnovers slowed, and close with a blowout loss to Boise State. They’re not the Mountain West Champion-level team of last year, but they’re dangerous enough to make this a fight.
– Utah State was one of the surprises of the 2021 bowl season, dropping Oregon State with relative ease in a 24-13 LA Bowl win. It won two of its last three bowls, but the program has been hit-or-miss going just 2-3 since 2014.
– Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield was on a bit of a hot seat at the end of the year. He’s expected to be back, but it would be a big positive to pull off this win. His Tigers rolled by Florida Atlantic in last year’s Montgomery Bowl, breaking the run of five straight bowl losses and a rough 1-7 run since 2005 for the program. It was supposed to play in the Hawaii Bowl last year, but it got canceled.
– The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl was sacked in 2018 because it was stormy, and apparently there weren’t any indoor football stadiums in the greater Dallas metropolitan area to play in. The bowl gods made up for it with three straight good battles all decided by a touchdown or less. Four of the last five First Responders have been one score games.
Why Memphis Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
The Tigers know how to throw the ball and should have enough success to push for 250 yards. They’ve got the veteran quarterback in Seth Henigan, they have the weapons to keep the offense moving, and they should be able to own third downs.
This is hardly a rock-solid Memphis team, but it’s able to get the chains moving. On the flip side, Utah State is awful on third converting just 32% of its chances. If this is any sort of a back-and-forth shootout, even a little bit of a blink will be big.
On the other side, the Memphis defense is hardly a rock, but it should be able to hold up. Teams are able to throw against it, but the run defense has held up fine. Utah State is 0-4 when it doesn’t get to 130 yards on the ground, and Memphis has only allowed that many yards four times.
Why Utah State Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
With all the lost pieces in the Utah State backfield, getting time to work will mean everything. That’s not a problem against a Memphis defense that doesn’t generate a pass rush and fails to produce enough tackles for loss.
It might be ugly at the Utah State skill spots when it comes to depth and veterans, but the offensive line should be okay. The game has to be about blasting away for the ground game, keeping the mistakes to a minimum, and getting a huge performance out of a defense that needs to generate at least two takeaways.
Utah State had a problem this year in turnover margin, but it’s 4-1 when forcing multiple takeaways. Memphis is 1-3 when turning it over two times or more.