Memphis Tigers 2023 Season Preview & Record Prediction
2022 Record: 7-6
This is a crucial juncture for Memphis Tigers head coach Ryan Silverfield. The upcoming 2023 season presents a pivotal opportunity for the team to demonstrate significant improvement, potentially impacting the continuation of Silverfield’s tenure as head coach. The program is poised to face formidable opponents in the form of UAB, Florida Atlantic, Rice, Charlotte, UTSA, and North Texas – all of which share a history in Conference USA. Meanwhile, the landscape of college football has shifted, with former conference mates Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF ascending to the Big 12. This realignment allows Memphis to reassert itself as a premier Group of Five program, yet the accurate measure of their resurgence will be defined on the field.
The Tigers closed the 2022 season with a 7-6 record, including a bowl appearance, but this falls short of the program’s aspirations to attain AAC championship contention. The vision is to return to the glory days reminiscent of former head coach Mike Norvell’s era, who has since moved on to Florida State. Infused with new position coaches and emerging talent at critical positions, 2023 is a pivotal year for the Tigers to seize and capitalize on.
Previewing the Memphis Offense
The upcoming 2023 campaign will evolve the Tigers’ offense as new faces step onto the stage. Notably, the departure of last season’s top wide receivers, Eddie Lewis and Javon Ivory, who transitioned to new programs via the transfer portal, creates an opening for emerging talent. Tauskie Dove, arriving from Missouri, and Demeer Blankumsee, hailing from conference rival Tulsa, are poised to step into their roles and make significant contributions potentially. At the helm of the offense, quarterback Seth Henigan is expected to elevate his performance, which is crucial for the Tigers’ success this season. In his first two seasons as a starter, Henigan has showcased his prowess, establishing himself as one of college football’s more consistent quarterbacks. His impressive resume includes 6,881 passing yards, 47 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.
The backfield is laden with promise, with last season’s leading rusher, Jeyvon Ducker, making his return. The running game also gains a boost from all-purpose back Blake Watson, a transfer from Old Dominion, who is anticipated to play a substantial role in the Tigers’ offensive strategy. Keep an eye on tailback Sutton Smith, who, though his 2022 appearances were limited, displays potential as a future staple in the Tigers’ rotation.
Additionally, the departure of tight end Caden Prieskorn to the Ole Miss Rebels leaves an opportunity for a successor to emerge. Preiskorn had established himself as one of Henigan’s most reliable targets last season, recording impressive stats with 48 receptions, 602 yards, and seven touchdowns. Identifying another tight end capable of replicating his productivity on the roster would undoubtedly be a significant boon for the Tigers’ offensive dynamic.
Previewing the Memphis Defense
Just as changes were observed on the offensive front, the Memphis defense underwent some transformations. The departure of standout defensive tackle Cam’Ron Jackson, who chose to join the Florida Gators, left a significant void. The task of filling his shoes and maintaining a sturdy defensive line falls to Adarius Jones, arriving from Texas A&M. Jones’s addition aims to stabilize a previously underperforming defensive line and contribute to the unit’s overall effectiveness. Working in tandem with players like Jaylon Allen, Cormontae Hamilton, Zy Brockington, and Hank Pearson, this defensive front holds the key to substantial improvements in the upcoming 2023 season. The pass rush is an area demanding particular attention, which was notably lacking in many games last season.
Turning to the linebackers, senior Geoffrey Cantin-Arku assumes this group’s anchor role. His presence is expected to impact the Tigers’ defense throughout the 2023 season significantly. Meanwhile, the secondary introduces a fresh face in safety, Simeon Blair, who brings a wealth of experience from his tenure with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Blair’s addition augments an already efficient unit and promises to enhance its capabilities. Notably, his extensive playing time was evident in his almost 1,000 snaps on the field during 2022, a testament to his commitment and skill. Recognized as a team captain for the Razorbacks, Blair’s leadership qualities are poised to further elevate the Tigers’ defense in the upcoming season.
Missouri: (September 23)
Boise State: (September 30)
Tulane: (October 13)
SMU: (November 18)
Temple: (November 25)
In the realm of Memphis Tigers football, the stage is set for a crucial chapter under the leadership of head coach Ryan Silverfield. As the 2023 season looms, anticipation builds around the team’s prospects for a substantial resurgence. The Tigers are fully aware that this season could be a decisive moment for Silverfield’s tenure as the head of the program. The previous year they witnessed the team finishing with a 7-6 record and a bowl appearance. However, those results fell short of the lofty aspirations that define the Memphis Tigers’ legacy within the AAC.
The task at hand for 2023 is a compelling one. Coach Silverfield’s squad faces a lineup of former Conference USA opponents, providing them a path to reestablish themselves as one of the Group of Five’s premier football programs. The departure of conference heavyweights to the Big 12 has opened up new avenues for Memphis to seize a prominent position in their conference.
On the offensive front, new faces are stepping up to fill critical roles left by departing players. The Tigers will rely on quarterback Seth Henigan’s experience and poise to spearhead their offensive efforts. With Henigan at the helm, backed by an arsenal of skilled players, including Tauskie Dove and Demeer Blankumsee, Memphis aims to rekindle the flames of a potent offensive attack.
Defensively, the Tigers are determined to bolster their performance. Adarius Jones and Jaylon Allen will be pivotal figures in shoring up the defensive line, addressing last season’s pass rush struggles. Linebacker Geoffrey Cantin-Arku and safety Simeon Blair add experience and leadership to a unit aiming to make a resounding impact.
The journey that unfolds for the Memphis Tigers is undoubtedly challenging yet rich with potential. Following a pivotal clash with Navy in Week 3, the team enters a critical three-game stretch, locking horns with Missouri, Boise State, and Tulane. This schedule segment presents a significant opportunity to showcase their mettle, with the added advantage of two home games.
As the Tigers navigate this defining season, the margin for error narrows when facing key conference rivals. The matchups against Tulane and SMU are essential, as their outcomes could sway the Tigers’ destiny in the AAC title race.
While challenges await, the 2023 Memphis Tigers exude a sense of purpose. The stage is set for them to emerge as a force to be reckoned with in the AAC, a position their fans eagerly anticipate. The promise of reinvigoration, underpinned by Silverfield’s leadership and the collective determination of the team, signals the dawn of a new era for the Memphis Tigers—one that may lead them back to their rightful place among the Group of Five’s premier football programs.
Predicted Record: 10-2 (AAC Title Contender)
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