The Memphis Tigers (5-0) head to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Temple Owls (4-1). The Tigers will look to continue an impressive start to the season after being ranked No. 23 in the nation.
A 52-33 win at UL-Monroe a week ago was enough to vault Memphis up to the top 25, and the now No. 23 ranked Tigers will be looking to build on their promising 5-0 start this weekend when they travel to face Temple.
Kenneth Gainwell shined once again against the Warhawks and should once again be in line for a major role in the offense. With Patrick Taylor Jr expected to return from injury sometime soon, it will be interesting to see how Gainwell’s role shifts once Taylor is back in the fold.
The Owls, who are tied for first in the AAC east, sit at 4-1 and are coming off a hard-fought 27-17 road victory at East Carolina. Rod Carey’s team is led by quarterback Anthony Russo and a pair of dynamic players out of the backfield in Re’ Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner. Davis leads the way with 503 yards and four touchdowns, while Gardner has racked up 298 yards and three scores on the ground thus far.
Both of these team’s sport top 40 defenses nationally and prefer to rack up yards by rushing the ball. Expect this game to be a slugfest that comes down to who can limit the mistakes and make the most of scoring opportunities when they do come.
Score prediction: Memphis 27-24 Temple
Memphis travels to Philadelphia to play against the Owls for the Tigers’ second conference game of the season. The University of Memphis will have their hardest away game of the season after leaving Louisiana-Monroe with another nonconference win. Temple returns to Philly after keeping the ECU Pirates at bay 27-17.
The Owls play serious football, and they would have likely been ranked well before SMU, Cincinnati or Memphis had they not been dropped kicked by Buffalo (currently 2-4) by 16 points in New York. On the flip-side, Temple upset the then-ranked No. 21 Maryland Terrapins.
The Tigers need to play their absolute best to avoid a costly loss in Pennsylvania. Memphis needs lots of offensive production, and their defense to lock it down. If Patrick Taylor Jr. returns to this game in good health, he could very well be too much to handle. There is almost no film for any team to prepare for his return. Temple maintains a strong, balanced offense that can score points however they need.
The winner of this game will have a very good win for their team. Memphis would have beaten an AAC East Division contender, and Temple would get a huge morale boost and a push toward the rankings. Both programs need a win from this match, and someone will have to lose.
In a game that can go either way by any margin, I think Memphis should hold its own and at least have a good game. Temple can make this game anything they want, depending on how they prepare.
Score Prediction: Memphis 28-25 Temple
The Tigers will face their toughest opponent yet coming up this Saturday as they travel to Philadelphia to play the Temple Owls. Temple has been stellar on defending the run this season, averaging 125 yards allowed. Last week, they held the ECU Pirates under 100 yards on the ground.
Memphis’ offense is based on the run, so if the Owls stops a high-power running offense, then the Tigers will have to unleash their passing attack. Quarterback Brady White will have to have a stellar game. With that, I still believe the running game will still be there for Memphis, especially if Patrick Taylor Jr. returns.
The Tigers’ defense will be the biggest key for an away win. They will have to contain Temple’s two receivers who went over 100 yards last week against East Carolina.
Memphis will need to create turnovers on the defense side of the ball and be turnover free on the offensive side, and I think they will.
Score Prediction: Memphis 24-21 Temple
This game can go 50/50, but do not be shocked to see Memphis have their messiest game of the season to date. Both teams boast defenses ranked inside the top-40 nationally (Memphis tied for 35th and Temple 20th; NCAA), and Temple is coming off limiting ECU to under 100 yards rushing, and Memphis’ Gainwell ran for 209 yards and two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see which team will be able to stop one another.
While Brady White threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, I see a repeat of the Navy game for him. Temple’s defensive tackle, Ifeanyi Maijeh, has recorded at least half a sack in each game this campaign and will be disrupting White all day. But the Memphis quarterback will ultimately finish strong to secure a vital away win.
Score Prediction: Memphis 27-24 Temple