By the numbers: Tigers and Red Wolves

Last week, both Arkansas State and Memphis endured similar circumstances: season-opening losses against Illinois and No. 20 Mississippi State, respectively.

Offensively, the Tigers and Red Wolves match up similarly. Both teams gained less than 400 total yards of offense. The Tigers' defense, of course, was gashed open by the Bulldogs for 645 yards, a Mississippi State school record.

The Red Wolves had several opportunities to take the lead against the Fighting Illini, but bungled two potential touchdown opportunities.

Here's a direct comparison of how the Red Wolves and Tigers fared statistically.

First downs
Memphis: 19
Arkansas State: 15

Total yards
Memphis: 338
Arkansas State: 350

Memphis: 174
Arkansas State: 290

Memphis: 164
Arkansas State: 60

Memphis: 2
Arkansas State: 3

Yards allowed
Memphis: 645 Arkansas State: 473

Rushing yards allowed
Memphis: 309
Arkansas State: 202

Passing yards allowed
Memphis: 336
Arkansas State: 271

Take from that what you will. All things aren't equal. Illinois is not the same caliber opponent as a Top 25 SEC team in Mississippi State. Still, if Memphis doesn't improve its run defense and limit the big plays, it's going to be a long night in Jonesboro for the Tigers.

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