Although there are still many uncertainties surrounding the college football season 2020-2021, the players and coaches still operate as if the season will last. With that, the Tigers have some very interesting games.
Memphis returns the majority of their starters on both sides of the ball. Brady White, Kenny Gainwell and Damonte Coxie going back for one of the best college football offenses, and JJ Russell, O’Bryan Goodson and T.J. Carter bringing a wealth of experience to defense that will likely continue to increase.
Tigers come from the best season in school history, which ends with a trip to the Cotton Bowl against Penn State. Memphis won the American Athletic Conference directly for the first time, but they will struggle to repeat as champions.
12 SEPTEMBER @ PURDUE
You might be thinking to yourself why should earlier and non-conference games win? Simple. Memphis is used to defeating P5 schools, and the fight against Boilermakers gives the Tigers a chance to prove their status as a top 25 eternal team.
Although Purdue is not an extraordinary team, they are quality P5 opponents Ryan Silverfield will be glad to be defeated. Mike Norvell arguably the best coach in school history, and Silverfield can prove he deserves a win earlier this season.
This game might not mean much to win AAC anymore, but it will be a big win for an experienced team.
OCTOBER 16 VS. UCF
UCF and Memphis have built mini-competition within the AAC, and it always seems to be an extraordinary game when the two meet. Although the Knights have dominated the series, Memphis almost defeated them twice during the 2018-2019 season.
The knight seems to have a Memphis number, and this gives the Tigers a chance to defeat UCF. Unfortunately for Memphis, that won’t be easy. The Knights are arguably the most talents in AAC, and quarterback Dillon Gabriel now has one year’s experience under his belt.
Luckily for the Tigers, they got UCF inside the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. This game can certainly have big implications on AAC, so Memphis will win with big wins.
OCTOBER 31 @ CINCINNATI
The Tigers defeated Cincinnati in consecutive weeks last season, including a victory at the AAC Championship Game. With that, I think it’s easy to see that the Bearcats will have a lot of motivation to beat Memphis in their home stadium.
Memphis is still a more talented team on paper, but Cincinnati has an advantage at home and chips on their shoulders after last season. Bearcats can also be pushed to position at AAC at this time of the season, and a win over Memphis will likely help.
This is a game that is likely to be fought over until the end, so fortunately Memphis has a lot of experience on their list.
14 NOVEMBER @ NAVY
AAC West is unlikely to have three 10-win teams like they did last season, and the Midshipmen are arguably the second best team in the division behind the Tigers. The Memphis-Navy match is almost always a close, low score, and that is one that the Tigers need to get to the championship match.
The last time Memphis went to Annapolis, they managed to lead in the fourth quarter, something they clearly wanted to avoid this time. If Memphis wants to repeat as champions of the conference, this might be the match they have to win.
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