FACTS & STATS: Site: Paul Brown Stadium (65,535) — Cincinnati, Ohio.
Television: CBS Sports Network. Home Record: Memphis 2-0, Cincinnati 2-0. Away
Record: Memphis 0-2, Cincinnati 0-1. Neutral Record: Memphis 0-0, Cincinnati
0-0. Conference Record: Memphis 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Series Record: Memphis
GAME NOTES: The Cincinnati Bearcats and Memphis Tigers open American Athletic
Conference action Saturday when they take the field at Paul Brown Stadium.
This is the conference opener for both teams, as they are each coming off
losses to ranked opponents last time out.
Memphis is coming off its second tough setback of the season, falling to then
10th-ranked Ole Miss, 24-3, on the road last Saturday.
The Tigers trailed just 7-3 after three quarters, but the Rebels’ offense
scored 17 fourth-quarter points to put the game away.
Turnovers, penalties and missed field goals helped Memphis stay close, despite
the Rebels outgaining the Tigers, 426-104. Ole Miss had four turnovers, was
penalized 10 times for 117 yards and Andrew Fletcher missed a pair of field
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch completed just 13-of-31 passes for 81 yards
with one pick, as his squad is winless in a pair of games against ranked teams
this season. Earlier this year, the Tigers fell to UCLA, 42-35.
Memphis’ two wins have come in convincing fashion, defeating Austin Peay
(63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17).
Even with the poor outing against Ole Miss, Memphis’ offense has been solid
this season, averaging 34.2 ppg and 399.5 ypg.
Lynch has completed 60 percent of his passes for 847 yards with five
touchdowns and three interceptions this season as the passing game averages
211.8 yards per contest.
A solid rushing game gives the Tigers offensive balance. As a team, the Tigers
average 187.8 yards per game on the ground. Doroland Dorceus leads the rushing
attack with 237 yards. Brandon Hayes (197) and Jarvis Cooper (130) have also
run for more than 100 yards this season.
Defensively, the Tigers allow just 20.8 ppg, but because of Saturday’s effort,
they are now yielding an average of 359.2 ypg. Memphis has also forced 10
Tank Jakes leads the team in sacks with four and tackles with 35.
Additionally, he has a team-best nine tackles for a loss. Bobby McCain is
anchoring the secondary with three interceptions and one recovered fumble.
The Bearcats took the field last weekend, losing at then 20th-ranked Ohio
Cincinnati’s defense had trouble stopping the Buckeyes, who totaled 710 yards
of offense. However, the Bearcats offense had success, as wide receiver Chris
Moore had three receptions for 221 yards, with all three resulting in TDs.
Quarterback Gunner Kiel completed 21-of-32 passes for 352 yards with four
touchdowns and no interception.
Offensively, the Bearcats have had a lot of success this season, averaging 39
ppg and 458.7 ypg.
Moore has made the most of just six catches this season, totaling 256 yards
and five touchdowns. Kiel has also had a great deal of success, completing
65.7 percent of his passes for 1,041 yards with 14 touchdowns and just two
Defensively, the Bearcats have struggled, surrendering 36 ppg and 545.7 ypg.
The Ohio State contest has elevated those numbers, but the Cincinnati defense
is going to have to buckle down when it takes the field again this weekend.
Even though Memphis has won 18 of the 31 previous meetings in the series, it’s
been the Bearcats who have dominated this series as of late. Cincinnati has
won five of the last six matchups, including two in a row at home, where they
own an 8-6 mark in this series.
Memphis has had some success this season against sub-par competition. If the
Tigers are going to go on the road in a conference matchup and get a win, they
are going to have to do much better on the defensive side of the ball. Memphis
is capable of forcing turnovers and that will be key in this contest against a
team that hasn’t committed a lot of turnover this season.
The Bearcats are capable of putting up points and should have success on
Saturday. Cincinnati has lost its only game against real competition this
season. and will need the defense to make some stops to come away with the
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 35, Memphis 24