The Memphis Tigers (8-1) face the Houston Cougars (3-6) in a matchup where Memphis looks to continue a strong season. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT
The Memphis Tigers head into this matchup with all the confidence in the world after their primetime win two weeks ago. Although many will favor Memphis, this will not be easy.
Houston has a great offensive team this year, led especially by their ground game as they average 210.4 rushing yards per game. They look to have a high scoring matchup with the Tigers’ No. 87 rushing defense.
Despite six losses this year, the Cougars were dealt with a tough schedule with Memphis being their fifth top 25 opponent this season.
The Tigers look to see Kenneth Gainwell have himself a good game against the No. 78 rushing defense. They also will be trying to extend their three-game winning streak dating back to the 2016 season.
This feels like a trap game for the Tigers, so expect to see some lead changes in this one in a high scoring game. Memphis wins nonetheless.
Score Prediction: Memphis 63-56 Houston
Memphis returns from the bye week to take on a crumbling Houston Cougars team who has lost two straight games.
I like Memphis in this contest because of the momentum that they are carrying into this one. They beat a great SMU team at home on primetime, and they have won three straight games since the loss to Temple.
The Tigers are feeling good right now, and I expect them to run away, although it does have a feel as a “trap game” for Memphis. Kenneth Gainwell, Antonio Gibson and the rest of the offense should have a great day as the Cougars give up more than 450 total yards to their opponent.
Although the Memphis defense gave up a lot of yards and points against the Mustangs last timeout, I expect them to have an excellent day and only 20 points to Houston. It would be nice to see Patrick Taylor in this game if he is available to play.
Score prediction: Memphis 49-20 Houston
The Tigers travel to Houston for and opportunity to solidify their season with another win. The Cougars have home-field advantage for this game, and it may be the best chance for them to win.
Houston is likely disappointed with themselves and their season after such high standards they hold in their program. If they lose, they may not be bowl eligible for the first time in six seasons. They also risk having their first losing season since 2012.
Regardless of the numbers or the statistics, Houston has embodied resilience with every deficit they have faced from a team. They may be the best three-win team in the country. But they will need absolute perfection to stop the Memphis offense and defense.
The biggest difference between these two teams is the amount of momentum on the Memphis team. The Tigers upset the leading team in the American Athletic Conference and could now be the front runner with another win.
SMU and Navy are hoping for Memphis to lose so they can have a chance at the AAC West title. But I do not think this will be the game we should expect the Tigers to stumble. The Tigers may struggle to get a lead or even keep one, but Memphis should keep the upper hand.
Score Prediction: Memphis 46-32 Houston
Coming off a well-earned bye week, the Memphis Tigers will be back on the road this weekend when they travel to face Houston. With only three games remaining on the schedule and a chance at a New Year’s Six Bowl still possible, it is imperative that the Tigers finish the year out strong.
The Cougars find themselves in a bit of a transition year under first-year head coach Dana Holgorson, who previously led West Virginia before departing for H-Town over the summer. It’s been an up-and-down year for the Cougars, who come in at 3-6 despite an offense that has explosive potential.
In a bit of a bizarre move, senior quarterback D’Eric King opted to redshirt midway through the season, more or less signaling that their focus is all about next year. In his place steps in sophomore Clayton Tune, who has performed admirably given the circumstances, tossing for nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns during King’s absence.
For Memphis, this game is all about handling business. They control their destiny and could have a clear path to the conference championship game if they keep winning. Kenny Gainwell will undoubtedly play a huge part on offense once again and look for the Tigers to keep on rolling as they move one step closer toward program history.
Score prediction: Memphis 45-34 Houston