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Memphis Tigers

Projecting how good Memphis football can be, based on the 2023 schedule

Photo courtesy of the University of Memphis Athletics.

The Memphis Tigers are entering year four of the Ryan Silverfield era of the football program. With the way that the previous two seasons have ended, the upcoming 2023 campaign will be crucial for Silverfield and his coaching staff. On Tuesday, the American Athletic Conference released the schedules for every team in the league. With the release of the 2023 campaign, Tiger fans have a glimpse of how the season could play out and what to look forward to.

What will not be included on the Tigers’ 2023 schedule are opponents such as UCF, Houston, and Cincinnati. All three programs are now members of the Big 12 Conference. They have historically been a difficult matchup for Memphis in previous seasons. The conference now welcomes new members to the league, such as North Texas, UTSA, Rice, UAB, Charlotte, and Florida Atlantic.

For the upcoming 2023 campaign, the Tigers will face three of the six new members of the AAC. Six of the Tigers’ 2023 opponents will have new head coaches to start the season. Below is the Memphis Tigers 2023 full schedule that includes the date and venue for each matchup. We will break down each game and explain what the Tigers will face in those matchups.

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

The game was supposed to be NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed’s debut as a head coach of Bethune-Cookman. Because of a few events that took place off the field, Reed will not become the head coach of Bethune-Cookman.

at Arkansas State Red Wolves

Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR

The series now moves back to Jonesboro, Arkansas. Memphis has won the last two matchups. The last time the Tigers made the trip to Jonesboro, they survived a strong second-half surge by the Red Wolves. Memphis won by a score of 55-50.

Navy Midshipmen

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

The Midshipmen will have a new head coach after parting ways with Ken Niumatalolo. They promoted defensive coordinator Brian Newberry to the HC position. Like always, the Tigers will be dealing with the triple-option offense. Don’t expect that change under Newberry.

Missouri Tigers

The Dome, St. Louis, MO

Hopefully, the Tigers will have a record of 3-0 by the time they head down I-55 North to take on the Missouri Tigers. The game is being billed as a neutral setting in St Louis, but it’s essentially a home game for Missouri. The Tigers can put the country on notice with an upset win over Mizzou.

Boise State Broncos

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

The Broncos are not what they once were but are still one of the country’s best Group of Five programs. However, the critical factor that plays into the Tigers’ favor is that the game is at the Liberty Bowl, and the Tigers boost one of the best home winning percentages in the country, currently at 83.5%.

Tulane Green Wave

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

Despite losing key players such as running back Tyjae Spears, the Tulane Green Wave are the favorites to win the AAC again. Last year, they won the conference championship, followed up by a Cotton Bowl victory over the USC Trojans. The series with Memphis has been a back-and-forth affair based on the game’s venue. Last year, Tulane defeated Memphis 38-28 in New Orleans. In 2023, the series returns to Memphis, where the Tigers have succeeded against Tulane.

at UAB Blazers

Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL

The road game against the UAB Blazers is an intriguing matchup for many reasons. The Blazers will be the Tigers’ first opponent, considered new conference members. UAB will also have a new head coach, former NFL quarterback and Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer. Depending on how long he stays with the program, Dilfer has the potential to turn UAB into a juggernaut in the new version of the AAC.

at North Texas Mean Green

Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX

The North Texas Mean Green will be the second-straight opponent that Memphis will face, a new member of the AAC. Like UAB, the Mean Green will have a new head coach in Eric Morris. However, Memphis played North Texas in a previous matchup in 2022. The Tigers prevailed 44-34.

USF Bulls

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

We should know where the season is headed when Memphis takes on South Florida. Hopefully, it will be a strong push toward an AAC title game. South Florida is a program that is not what they once were and will be in rebuilding mode. The Bulls have won four total games in the past three seasons.

at Charlotte 49ers

Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, NC

The Charlotte 49ers will be the final new member of the AAC that the Tigers will face in 2023. The Niners will also be the Tigers’ sixth opponent featuring a new head coach in former Michigan assistant Biff Poggi.

SMU Mustangs

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN

Tanner Mordecai transferred from SMU to Wisconsin, and Rashee Rice is off to pursue a career in the National Football League. However, with their resources, the Mustangs know how to retool their roster. However, they have not been successful playing at the Liberty Bowl, no matter how dangerous their roster looks. SMU has lost its last four games in Memphis. The matchup with SMU could be an essential factor for the Tigers possibly clinching a berth in the AAC championship game.

at Temple Owls

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

The Tigers close out the 2023 campaign with a road game against the Temple Owls. Last year under new head coach Stan Drayton, the Owls finished the year with a 3-9 overall record. It will be interesting to see how things will look as they transition to year two under Drayton. Last season, Temple’s top-ranked defense presented a few problems for Memphis, but they would eventually pull ahead with a 24-3 victory.

Projected 2023 Record: 9-3 (Potential AAC Championship Game appearance)

Overall, one key advantage for the Tigers is that they will face six teams with new head coaches in the upcoming season. While this may seem like a small detail, it can significantly impact the outcome of games. With new coaches come new systems, players, and philosophies, and it often takes time for a team to fully adjust and gel under a new leader. This can create opportunities for established programs like Memphis to take advantage of and secure key victories.

With a favorable schedule and a strong roster, the Memphis Tigers football team has the potential to make significant strides in 2023. If the team can stay healthy and continue to develop under head coach Ryan Silverfield, they could be a force to be reckoned with in the new look AAC and beyond.

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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