Matchup: Memphis

This week, Tennessee takes on Memphis in Knoxville. This is our take on this Vols vs Tigers matchup.

Game #: 1114
Site: Knoxville
Date: Nov. 12
Conference: USA
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Tigers - West



Memphis ranks fourth in the nation in rushing, a compliment to the line. The bigger complement is Williams. The Tigers start a freshman and a sophomore. UT's line leads the SEC in fewest sacks allowed and has played better than the numbers suggest.


Memphis is down to its fourth-team quarterback, converted receiver Maurice Avery. Avery has completed 69 percent of his 49 passes in three starts. He's also mobile. UT's Erik Ainge shows flashes then makes silly, 10th grade mistakes. You would think Ainge would have success against a mediocre defense, but Notre Dame's pass defense was giving up 306.6 passing yards per game and Ainge was 13 of 32. Don't be surprised if UT needs Rick Clausen to pull this one out.


DeAngelo Williams leads the nation in rushing and total yards. UT signed Gerald Riggs Jr. instead of pursuing Williams. UT's Arian Foster has rushed for the second-most yards (410) of any freshman under Phillip Fulmer. He's averaging 136.5 yards in his two starts.


Memphis' 6-4 Ryan Scott has 26 catches despite having to adjust to four quarterbacks. UT's Robert Meachem and Jayson Swain each have more than 20 catches, but this group has grossly underachieved.



Memphis allows 147.9 rushing yards per game and UAB's Cory White had a career-high 200 yards last week. UT is fourth in the nation against the run.


Memphis Tim Goodwell and Carlton Baker rank 2-3 on the team in tackles. UT's trio ranks among the SEC's best.


Memphis is allowing 286.8 passing yards per game (20 yards better than Notre Dame's numbers). Can UT's inept passing game exploit this weakness? UT's defensive backs have given up 219 passing yards per game and six touchdowns.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

Memphis' Michael Gibson averages 44.8 yards per punt and Stephen Gostkowski has hit 11 of 14 field-goal attempts. UT ranks 105 in net punting, 102 in punt returns and 91 in kickoff returns.



Memphis is 1-18 against Tennessee and needs a win to keep alive bowl hopes. It's homecoming for the Vols, who need a win to avoid snapping a 16-year bowl streak.


Not since 1964 has a UT team gone through a season without scoring more than 30 points. The Vols avoid that infamy. Tennessee 31, Memphis 17

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