When the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to town on Saturday, it will be one of the most anticipated games in recent Memphis Tiger Football history.
The matchup will see two undefeated teams go head to head in what is sure to be a fight to the finish.
Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield is looking for his first Power 5 win and looks to help the Tigers maintain one of the longest active home winning streaks in the nation. The Tigers have won 16 straight home games.
After the Big 12 conference decided not to send an invitation to the University of Memphis when it decided to expand last week, it left a lot of folks angry and has put a big chip on their shoulders. This game is an opportunity for the Tigers to show what the conference passed on.
When asked what people can do if they want to help the Tigers moving forward, Memphis Athletic Director Laird Veatch simply said, “Be there, be at our events. We need people to come out and show the world that you know we’re ready to compete at the highest level we have been. We will continue to be and we need to show how much people care here in Memphis about the Tigers.”
The Liberty Bowl is likely to be packed for this game where Memphis will get an excellent opportunity to show the world what they are about. True freshman quarterback Seth Hennigan continues to play with veteran poise, and it seems like he is getting better every week. He and the Tiger offense will definitely be tested against a Bulldogs defense that only gave up 10 points last week in their win over NC State.
The Tiger defense leaves much to be desired, especially after giving up 50 points on the road last week to Arkansas State. The secondary will need to play much better against Mississippi State’s air raid offense.
Mike Leach, the Mississippi State head coach, has done a much better job this season of finding ways to win, but they have yet to play a complete game. Whether it is working or not, Mike Leach and his offense will try to throw the football.
True sophomore quarterback Will Rodgers has played very well this season, especially in the comeback win over Louisiana Tech in the Bulldog’s season opener. However, the Liberty Bowl will be, as it has been in the past, a very hostile environment, creating a barrier for communication.
This game will ultimately come down to which team can play to their strengths the best. The Memphis Tigers are electric offensively, especially with a true freshman quarterback under center. The question will be whether the Tiger offense can break the Bulldog defense and bury them in points. They may give up some points, but they make you earn every single one. Kick-off is set for 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.
The Memphis Tigers celebrate after a touchdown during the season opener against Nicholls State. They are looking to maintain that offense against Mississippi State Saturday.