#115 University of Memphis Tigersvs.#116 University of Mississippi Rebels
Written by David Hess
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi
Lines: Mississippi -14.5
The Memphis Tigers are off to a perfect 3-0 start and will look to keep it going vs a strong 2-2 Mississippi Rebels team at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. The Tigers took out Bowling Green by a 77-3 score, while Ole Miss throttled Georgia by a score of 45-14. Last year the teams met and Ole Miss won 37-24.
Last week the Memphis Tigers took on a Bowling Green team that is a bit down this year and they have no mercy for the team from the MAC. Memphis took the game by a 77-3 score and outgained the Falcons 635-294 in the game. Memphis threw for 395 yards and ran for 240 yards in the game, which is nice balance. QB Riley Ferguson had a very strong game as he threw for 359 yards with six TD passes and no INTs, For the year he has now hit 67% of his passes for 843 yards with 11 TDs and two INTs. He really spread around the wealth as his six TD passes came to six different receivers. He made a lot of guys happy in that game, but will be going up against a much tougher defense in this one.
The Tigers are 27th in the nation in passing and 5th in scoring at 51.7 ppg, but they also know how to play defense as they are 16th in the nation in total yards allowed at 287 ypg and 2nd in the land in points allowed at just 9.0 ppg. This will be their toughest test for that defense as the Rebels did score 88 points their last two games, which were vs Alabama and Georgia. This may not be a good game for their defense, which means that they will have to rely on their offense to win this game or at least keep it close. Memphis is off to a 3-0 start, but making it to 4-0 will be difficult vs this SEC power. On another note, Ferguson was named AAC Player of the week for last week.
The Mississippi Rebels have played in some tough luck this year as they had big leads over Florida State and Alabama, but their defense let them down late in those games and they lost both. Last week they took on Georgia and built a huge lead once again, but they were taking on a Bulldog offense that didn’t have enough offense in them to make the comeback and the Rebel took the game 45-14. They finally held on to a lead. Now they will take on a team that has the offense to catch up if they get down big, so the Rebels really have to be careful in this game. That defense for Ole Miss comes in ranked 96th in total yards allowed, 115th vs the run and 85th in points allowed, giving up 30 ppg thus far.
On offense the Rebels have been strong this year and the last two week they put up 88 points and 1037 yards vs SEC defenses. Against the Bulldogs they have 510 yards, with 330 coming through the air. Chad Kelly had a strong game as he hit 18 of 24 for 282 yards with two TDs and no INTs. Kelly is the best QB in the SEC and he is off to a great start overall as he has hit 64.9% of his passes for 1235 yards with 12 TDs and four INTs. The Rebels as a team are 17th in the nation in passing, putting up 326.5 ypg so far. Ther 104th in rushing, but they haven’t really needed to run the ball as Kelly has just been that good.
I’m going to look for the tigers to keep this one within two TDs as they clearly have enough offense to do so vs a suspect Ole Miss defense. The Rebels are also in what looks like a flat spot as they took on Georgia and Alabama the last two weeks and have an off date on deck, so they may not be fully focused here, which should allow this very good Memphis offense to score just enough points to keep the game around 10 points.
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I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.