By the numbers: Owls-Tigers

The University of Memphis takes on Rice tomorrow for a chance to get its second win of the season. The Owls, however, have played better than usual this season and have even knocked off the BCS' Purdue.

The University of Memphis takes on Rice tomorrow for a chance to get its second win of the season. The Owls, however, have played better than usual this season and have even knocked off the BCS' Purdue.

The Tigers (1-4) need a win desperately. U of M coach Larry Porter has been under intense scrutiny the last few weeks and a win would go a long way in dispelling some of the heat he's facing right now.

Here are some statistics to take into account when the Tigers go up against the Owls tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. All stats are from both teams' last outings.

First downs
Memphis: 23
Rice: 15

Total yards
Memphis: 395
Rice: 229

Passing yards
Memphis: 230
Rice: 196

Rushing yards
Memphis: 165
Rice: 33

Turnovers
Memphis: 2
Rice: 2

Yards allowed
Memphis: 477
Rice: 654

Rushing yards allowed
Memphis: 200
Rice: 377

Passing yards allowed
Memphis: 277
Rice: 284

Well, it doesn't take much research to figure out how awful both defenses are. Rice is coming off a 42-28 loss to Southern Miss in which the Owls allowed 654 yards of offense. The Tigers will try to put a heartbreaker of a loss behind them Saturday after being outscored 38-14 in the final three quarters against MTSU last week.

The key for Memphis is establishing the running game early. U of M coach Larry Porter, ideally, would like to milk the clock and not put too much pressure on freshman quarterback Taylor Reed.

If the Tigers, who get back Jerrell Rhodes after a bone bruise kept him out three games, can run the ball effectively, I'd look for a Tiger victory.


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