In this video from Strike 7 Sports, Derrick Branch discusses the critical state of the Memphis Tigers football program and its challenges in their upcoming games. With several formidable opponents on the horizon, the program’s future under the current regime could hang in the balance, and fans are eager to see how the team will perform.
Facing Tough Competition: The Memphis Tigers are gearing up to meet some formidable opponents, including Missouri, Boise State, and Tulane. Each team boasts a strong football pedigree, making these matchups crucial for the Tigers. The three-game slate has been deemed a critical juncture in the tenure of head coach Ryan Silverfield.
Missouri: Mizzou is not among the SEC’s premier schools, but they have generated significant hype this season. The program is coming off an emotional 30-27 victory over former Big 12 rival, the Kansas State Wildcats. While Memphis faces Missouri outside its conference, the outcome could impact its standing in the college football landscape.
Boise State: The Broncos have garnered a reputation for being one of the top Group of Five programs in college football for over a decade. They tend to perform on the biggest stages when facing some of college football’s elite programs. The game that put them on the map as a bonafide contender in the Group of Five was the 43-42 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007. While they may have gotten off to a sluggish start this season, the Tigers cannot take them lightly.
Tulane: Tulane has captured attention for its remarkable turnaround, going from just two wins in 2021 to 12 last season, including a shocking Cotton Bowl victory over the USC Trojans. Their impressive performance in the Cotton Bowl has put them on the radar, making this matchup with Memphis a significant test. The spotlight has been taken off them because of their 37-20 loss to Ole Miss, but they remain heavy favorites to repeat as AAC champions. Their backup QB Kai Horton has shown that he’s a reliable option at the position, but does have the intangibles that starter Michael Pratt brings. Horton has appeared in the Green Wave’s last two games due to Pratt recovering from a knee injury in the season opener.
The Importance of These Games: Is it the world’s end for Memphis if they lose all three games? According to Derrick Branch, it depends on how they fail. If the Tigers put up a reasonable effort and engage in tight contests, it may not be as detrimental as one might think. However, it’s essential to consider their offensive struggles, particularly in running the football and finding momentum on the perimeter.
Conference and New Year’s Six Implications: While losing these non-conference games might not be catastrophic, it could impact their chances of reaching the New Year’s Six bowl games. These bowl games typically go to the G5 program with the best record, and three losses might eliminate Memphis from contention.
Boise State’s Role: Boise State, considered a favorite to represent the G5 schools in the New Year’s Six, also factors into the equation. While they’ve had a slow start, Boise State’s reputation for appearing in big games could make them a contender. Their strong defense and running game make them a formidable team.
Conclusion: As Memphis prepares to face Missouri, Boise State, and Tulane, the future of the Tigers’ football program hangs in the balance. While these games are critical, their outcomes are uncertain, and much depends on how the team performs in these matchups. Regardless of the results, there’s still a chance for Memphis to compete for the conference title. However, losses to Tulane and SMU would be especially damaging. Fans eagerly await these games to see if Memphis can rise to the challenge and turn their season around.
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