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Helmsman Roundtable: Football looks to continue strong start against Southern

Memphis is fresh off a 15-10 win against SEC rival Ole Mississippi while HBCU foe the Southern University Jaguars, are not posing as much of a threat on paper, The Daily Helmsman Sports Staff gives their prediction on the upcoming contest. Kick-off is set for 11 a.m. at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Reggie Reed

The Memphis Tigers football team has an easy task ahead of them this weekend. They play host to the Jaguars of Southern University. With the Tigers being a run-first offense, I expect the passing attack to get back to form after last week’s slow start.

Quarterback Brady White threw an interception and zero touchdowns against Ole Miss, but that will change this week. With running back Patrick Taylor Jr. being held out this week, I want to see backup running back Kenneth Gainwell put on a performance and show the fans that he can take over when his number is called.

I also expect to see the Memphis defense dominate, just as they did last week against the Rebels. Southern is coming into the game 0-1 after losing to McNeese State 28-34. The Jaguars offense scored the ball with good intentions but had six costly turnovers that they could not overcome.

I expect Memphis to attack at them defensively and create more turnovers on them while scoring the ball on offense with ease.

Score prediction: Memphis 45-0 Southern 

Zach Thompson 

Coming off a statement win over Ole Miss, the Tigers football team now turns its attention to another 11 a.m. tilt against Southern. After a dominant defensive effort against their SEC foes a week ago, new defensive coordinator Adam Fuller will be hoping his unit can replicate that performance again. 

With star tailback Patrick Taylor Jr already ruled out due to injury, fans can expect to see a lot of Kenny Gainwell, who has previously served as a change-of-pace back so far in his career. 

For the Jaguars, it will be crucial to disrupt quarterback Brady White’s rhythm and timing for the visitors to have a chance. Despite Taylor Jr’s absence, the Tigers offense should be able to have its way for the most part. Look for Memphis to start relatively slow but still end up running away with their second victory of the season. 

Score prediction: Memphis 41-16 Southern

Jacob Rice 

Memphis is the only undefeated Division I team in Tennessee. The Tigers should not overlook this game by any means. Considering Patrick Taylor Jr.’s injury, it should not have much of an effect on the team. They likely would have pulled him from the game early anyway.

I see this game as an optimal opportunity for the passing attack to gain experience against a different defense.

The Jaguars will look to stay competitive after they dropped their first game of the year against McNeese by six points. Southern held the Cowboys’ leading rusher to 33 yards on 11 carries. Kenneth Gainwell may receive some decent competition from the Jaguar defense. 

The most notable thing from Southern’s first game would be their five turnovers, and Norvell should be telling his defense to put up points for themselves. If Memphis brings a defense anything related to the opening week, it could be the first shutout of Norvell’s career. 

Score prediction: Memphis 47-6 Southern

Frank Ramirez

While most expect this game to be a blowout in favor of Memphis, I expect a slow start from the Tigers, who will be coming off a high from beating Ole Miss last week.

The slow start will not be due to Taylor Jr.’s absence, but it will be because of Southern University’s strong start out of the gate. Their quarterback Ladarius Skelton (5/9, 104 yards passing with two touchdowns last week) will pose a threat if he gets comfortable early on, and this team has the heart after nearly coming back from a 34-14 deficit with 5:25 left in the game to fall short 34-14 against McNeese State.

Bryce Huff will be the player from Memphis to watch out for after posting five solo tackles and a safety last week. The senior defensive end will look to continue making a name for himself against this Jaguar offensive line. 

If the Tigers can avoid a sluggish start against this Southern team and defense dominates again, Memphis will be 2-0. 

Score prediction: Memphis 35-7 Southern

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