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Memphis Football focuses on Temple

The Memphis Tigers (2-1) have a new game in front of them after last week's showdown, Temple (1-1). 

One week after a victorious thriller against UCF (2-2), the Tigers are hosting their third home game of the season. The attention is now set on the Temple Owls. Memphis Coach Ryan Silverfield said he knows Temples prides themselves on being fierce. 

"I know their offense gives people fits," Silverfield said. "They are going to battle, they are going to give us everything they got that's for sure."

Senior Temple quarterback Anthony Russo has used two games to put up 476 passing yards on 51 completions. Russo has also passed for five touchdowns and three interceptions. Russo got four of those touchdowns against South Florida after he carried the Owls to past the Bulls. Russo also led Temple to outscore USF 19-6 in the final 16:07. 

Memphis has put three games behind them already, wins at home against UCF and Arkansas State, and a road loss to SMU. 

Temple has played two games, both being conference games to USF and Navy. The Owls lost to the Navy Midshipmen in Maryland and beat the South Florida Bulls in Philly. 

The numbers:

The last two games for Memphis and for Temple were decided by a total of four points. The Tigers lost by three to the SMU Mustangs and would later beat the Central Florida Knights by one. The Owls lost to Navy after failing to convert a game-tying two-point conversion. Temple then beat USF after the Bulls failed to score a game-tying two-point conversion. 

After three games the Tigers' defense has allowed an average of 590.3 yards per game. It is the highest of the other ten teams in the American Athletic Conference. The Memphis defense has also allowed an average of 34.3 points per game, the eighth highest in the conference. 

The Memphis offense however is third in the conference with 38 average points per game, ranking third in the AAC behind SMU and UCF. The Memphis offense has averaged 568.7 yards per game, placing them second in the conference behind UCF. 

The Temple offense on the other hand ranks fifth in average yards per game with 411.5. They are also seventh in the American with 34 average points per game. 

The Temple defense is sixth in the AAC with 34 average points per game allowed. The Owls' defense has allowed 311.5 points per game, the third best in the American. 

What happened last year?

The Tigers scheduled their homecoming game against the Temple Owls. Last year, the Owls hosted Memphis in their homecoming game. It ended in a controversial 30-28 loss for the Tigers.

Trailing Temple 30-28, the Tigers faced a fourth and nine with 2:04 left in the game. Brady White escaped pressure and hurled a pass to an open tight end, Joey Magnifico. Magnifico appeared to have caught the pass for a first down.

However officials changed the ruling and said it was an incompletion. The game ended with a two-point loss. Although the Tigers had a chance to score later in the game, fans had claimed it ruined an undefeated season. 

Homecoming for Memphis

Memphis has won their last three homecoming games, all of which have been entertaining games. The Tigers defeated Southern Illinois in 2017, UConn in 2018 and SMU in 2019. 

Southern Illinois was leading at halftime 21-17 during the 2017 homecoming game. The Tigers would eventually win 44-31 against the Salukis, but not without some anxiety first. Memphis saw many fireworks during the 2018 homecoming game after a 55-14 dominant win against the Huskies.

The previous homecoming game had quite a few spectators mainly because it was broadcasted on ESPN gameday. Southern Methodist fought to the very end but it ended with Memphis celebrating with a 54-48 win. 

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