College Football

more stats

15
Final 1234Score
25  Memphis366015
Houston738725
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
25


Memphis (1-3) vs. Houston (4-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 12, 12 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: BBVA Compass Stadium (22,039) -- Houston, Texas. Television: ESPN News. Home Record: Memphis 1-2, Houston 1-0. Away Record: Memphis 0-1, Houston 2-0. Neutral Record: Memphis 0-0, Houston 1-0. Conference Record: Memphis 0-1, Houston 1-0. Series Record: Houston leads, 11-9.

GAME NOTES: Coming off a bye week, the Houston Cougars will try to move to a perfect 5-0 when they battle former Conference USA rival Memphis in an American Athletic Conference showdown at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Memphis nearly pulled off an upset in its AAC opener against UCF but a costly fumble by Marquis Warford late in the fourth quarter led to the game-winning touchdown for the Knights in the 24-17 decision. The Tigers were 4-4 in league play a year ago while still a member of C-USA and are off to an 0-1 start this year.

As for Houston, the Cougars are in good company in the AAC. Other than No. 8 Louisville, Houston is the only squad in the league that has not suffered a loss. With wins in all four games the Cougars are 4-0 for just the eighth time in program history. Houston was on a bye last weekend but had won its first four games by an average of 23.5 points per game.

Although both of these teams were members of Conference USA a year ago they did not meet in the last two seasons. The last meeting came in 2010 when the Cougars rolled to a 56-17 victory to move to 11-9 in series play.

When you are a team averaging only 19.2 points per game, turnovers late in games can be devastating. That is certainly the case for Memphis, which is ranked seventh in the conference in scoring and total offense (372.2 ypg).

Paxton Lynch leads the offense from under center. Lynch had one of his better games against UCF when he threw for a season-high 279 yards. However, on the year, Lynch has struggled more often than not with just 773 yards and four interceptions to just two touchdown passes. Lynch has also been sacked 10 times.

The main weapons Lynch gets the ball to are receivers Tevin Jones and Joe Craig. Jones is the team-leader in receiving yards (170), while Craig is the leader in receptions (13) for 168 yards. Tight end Alan Cross (seven receptions, 53 yards, two TDs) doesn't get a ton of receptions but has been useful in the red zone.

In terms of running the ball, the Tigers are fortunate to have a pair of talented backs. Brandon Hayes is the workhorse with 307 yards and two scores on 60 carries. Hayes has been at his best in recent weeks with 187 yards and two scores in the last two weeks. Warford (251 yards, TD) is a fine backup.

Where there is hope for Memphis is on defense. The Tigers are holding foes to just 19 points and 319.8 yards per game, ranking in the top four in the conference in each category. Memphis has been particularly effective in getting to the quarterback, with 14 sacks, trailing only Louisville and Rutgers for the most in the conference.

Leading the way for the defense is Martin Ifedi (5.5 sacks), who is tied for the league lead in quarterback takedowns.

Houston is the top offensive team in the AAC to this point, averaging 534 yards per game, scoring a healthy 43.5 points per game.

Carrying the Cougars is quarterback John O'Korn. The freshman has done a solid job under center since replacing incumbent starter David Piland. O'Korn is completing 63.5 percent of his pass attempts for 933 yards and 10 touchdowns and has been intercepted only once. In the Cougars' last game, a 59-28 win over Texas-San Antonio, O'Korn threw for career-highs in touchdowns (four) and yards (312).

O'Korn has certainly been helped by the play of Deontay Greenberry, who has brought in 35 receptions for 530 yards and three touchdowns. Greenberry leads the conference in yards per game (132.5) for the Cougars, who have also gotten contributions from Daniel Spencer (17 receptions, 223 yards, three TDs) and Xavier Maxwell (15 receptions, 144 yards, two TDs).

Ryan Jackson is a versatile running back that works well in the Cougars' system with his ability to make plays in the passing game. Jackson has rushed for 384 yards and four touchdowns and also has 10 catches for 120 yards and two scores through the air.

On the defensive side of things, Houston shows some weaknesses. The Cougars are allowing just 20 points per game but teams are also picking up more than 400 yards per contest. While those numbers themselves aren't horrible, the Cougars have struggled to create pressure with just five sacks this season, while recording the fewest tackles for loss (16) in the conference. However, Houston has forced 14 turnovers in just four games.

This should be a real test of just how effective O'Korn can be as a signal caller. The Tigers' front seven, especially Ifedi, will give the freshman problems but Jackson's ability to run the ball will open up the field. If Houston can keep up the pace it prefers, the Tigers will fall behind early.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 41, Memphis 27

10/09 10:39:31 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
4th
BRK 78
CHA 108
 
2nd
DUKE 76
WAKE 37
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
Final
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
 
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
 
4th
BRK 78
CHA 108
 
4th
TOR 101
CLE 105
 
4th
BOS 81
UTA 75
 
3rd
MIN 59
DEN 74
 
3rd
NOP 56
DET 57
 
3rd
MIA 63
LAL 59
 
4th
HOU 79
MEM 79
 
3rd
OKC 66
PHI 82
 
Half
SAN 54
SAC 38
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
 
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
 
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
 
Final
UNH 54
HART 52
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
 
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
 
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
 
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
 
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
 
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
Final
UMASS 53
RICH 56
 
2nd
TULA 50
HOU 48
 
2nd
YALE 69
HOW 53
 
2nd
PITT 51
MIAMI 54
 
2nd
TXPA 46
NMST 57
 
2nd
MSU 45
PURD 37
 
2nd
STLU 41
BONA 53
 
2nd
DUKE 76
WAKE 37
 
1st
TULSA 13
CIN 19
 
1st
VANDY 29
MSST 32
 
1st
OKST 27
TCU 25
 
1st
UCLA 36
USC 23
 
1st
WYO 32
UTST 26
 
1st
MARQ 18
STJ 16
 
1st
EILL 8
SIUE 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
3rd
WIN 0
OTT 3
 
2nd Intermission
DET 1
NYR 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT