Temple Will Be Next Victim Of Memphis’ High-Powered Offense

Memphis' offense is a well-oiled machine and should give Temple's defense issues

Army West Point, Flickr

#23 Memphis (-5.5) at Temple 

Saturday October 12th, 12:00pm EST

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  • No. 23 Memphis cracked the top 25 and is a perfect 5-0 to start the year after beating Ole Miss, Southern, South Alabama, Navy and Louisiana-Monroe

  • The Tigers are averaging 39.8 points and 461.0 total yards of offense per game (29th in FBS). 

  • Temple’s defense has been formidable against the pass and the run, but benefitted from matchups against Bucknell and East Carolina and allowed 38 points to Buffalo on September 21st. 

  • Memphis’ defense ranks 16th in FBS, allowing just 15.8 points per game. 

What’s At Stake 

Memphis is ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2017 season (when they were 25th). Temple's defense will be the best one they’ve faced so far (and might be the best they will face all season). Up next are winnable matchups against Tulane and Tulsa, so this victory could be another step towards a potential 8-0 showdown against fellow AAC unbeaten SMU.

As an undefeated team in a non-Power 5 conference, every game is another opportunity to climb in the rankings and work towards an upper-echelon bowl game. A win over a quality Temple team would certainly boost their resume.

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One Of The Nation’s Top Offenses 

Memphis head coach Mike Norvell installed his dynamic spread offense as soon as he got the job in 2016 and the Tigers have established themselves as one of the nation’s top offenses in recent years. Their 461.0 total yards per game ranks 29th in FBS.

Junior quarterback Brady White has converted 71.7 percent of his passes for 1,163 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions (184.9 rating). Junior wideout Damonte Coxie leads the team in receptions (21), receiving yards (301) and has also caught two touchdown passes so far. 

Freshman Kenneth Gainwell has rushed for 620 yards (8.2 yards per carry) and six touchdowns to lead the team in all three categories. Memphis 214.4 rushing yards per game ranks 32nd in FBS. The Tigers will be relying on solid performances from all three of the aforementioned players in order to pull off the win. 

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A Top-Ranked Pass Defense 

Memphis has allowed just 146.2 passing yards per game (3rd in FBS). That should come in handy against Temple quarterback Anthony Russo, who has thrown for 1,279 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also been slightly careless with the ball, as indicated by his six interceptions. That plays into Memphis’ favor and the Tigers should absolutely be able to limit Temple’s production through the air. Therefore, expect the Owls to heavily lean on running backs Re’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner.

Ole Miss managed 93 yards through the air against Memphis in Week 1 and the Tigers surrendered just 90 in Week 2, 147 in Week 3 and 82 in Week 4. Last week, Memphis allowed 319 passing yards, but Louisiana-Monroe threw the ball 45 times against them in their pass-heavy offense. Temple features a much more balanced attack. 

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What BetQL’s Model Says

BetQL’s NCAA Football Model lists Memphis (-6) as a ★★ bet and the Tigers -245 moneyline as a ★★ play. Further, the over 50.5 consensus point total is also listed as a ★★ bet. Therefore, expect Memphis to win, cover and guide the point total to 51 or higher.