As Memphis and Ole Miss get set to do battle this weekend, it is essential to note that the Rebels are in a bit of a transitional phase. They have a new coordinator on each side of the ball, a freshman quarterback, and a whole lot of numbers to replace after losing a large chunk of their offense to the NFL. The visiting team still has talented players, but the new schemes will be sure to come with growing pains.
Meanwhile, Memphis is counting on the emergence of Patrick Taylor Jr. to help power their high-scoring offense. It will be crucial that White makes good decisions with the ball and does not try to force anything against a very fast SEC defense that returns almost all of its starters from 2018. Ole Miss may be the toughest opponent Memphis will face this year, but I think this game means too much to the Tigers for them to lose on their home field on opening weekend.
Score: Memphis 31 Ole Miss 27
Memphis has a huge journey in front of them Saturday as they face the Ole Miss Rebels. The experience of the Tigers should be able to get them over the hump in this one, and part of that is due to their running game. Memphis’ senior running back Patrick Taylor Jr. will have over 150 yards on the ground along with two touchdowns.
The improved Tigers’ defense will force two turnovers on the young Ole Miss offense but should keep their focus on the Rebels’ star running back Scottie Phillips. The Rebels have some experience in the secondary, but it should not be a problem for the home team. Memphis wins convincingly to start 2019 season off right.
Score: Memphis 35 Ole Miss 20
The Rebels enter Saturday’s game after having lost their last five games in 2018. However, their 5-7 season should not define the fight they possess when they play Memphis. Ole Miss possesses a strong rushing attack that will likely take half of the game for the Tigers’ defense to contain.
The Memphis offense has plenty of playmakers but must maintain balance with their rushing and passing game if they want to remain unpredictable. If they can produce on both ends, then they are golden. Memphis should win a high scoring game, and they should start the season off with a win.
Score: Memphis 38 Ole Miss 27
Ole Miss versus Memphis in any sport is worthwhile, but in football it means bragging rights and happy Tigers fans after the whistle. Mike Norvell’s experienced team, despite new offensive and defensive coordinator hires, will be able to defeat a Mississippi defense that ranked 121st in the nation (in total defense) in 2018. The Rebels also gave up 483 yards per game and 6.32 yards per play, and senior running back Patrick Taylor Jr. should be able to exploit their defense as the new starting halfback.
While some expect it will be all Memphis in this matchup, a player to look out for on the visiting side will be redshirt freshman starting quarterback, Matt Corral. While he had limited playing time in four games last season, he will lead a new-look up-tempo offense that’s hopeful of wearing out Memphis’ defense. Expect flash from both quarterbacks, but defense will be the determining factor for the winning squad.
Score: Memphis 35 Ole Miss 21