Matchup: Memphis at #10 Ole Miss (-21, 59.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 27th @ 7:30 pm (EST)
Location: Oxford, MS (airing on ESPN/ESPN Gameplan/ESPN3)
Preview: On Saturday night the Memphis Tigers out of the American Athletic conference travel to Oxford, MS to take on the #10 ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
There is a lot of buzz this year in the state of Mississippi. The Mississippi State Bulldogs pulled off a shocker last weekend going down to Baton Rouge, LA and beating the LSU Tigers in a hostile environment. The other team in the state, the Ole Miss Rebels are making some news as well. The Tigers are ranked in the top 10 for the first time 1964, and have destroyed every team that’s been put in front of them. The Rebels are winning by an average margin of 33.7 points per game, and are coming off a 56-15 blowout of Louisiana-Lafayette. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace has been stellar, completing 75% of his passes for 1023 yards and 9 touchdowns. The defense has been very effective, ranking 15th in the nation in total defense, allowing just 296 yards per contest.
Memphis comes into Saturday night’s contest at 2-1, and has been one of the surprise teams this season. Their only loss was at UCLA, where they gave the Bruins all they could handle in a 42-35 loss. The Tigers went 3-9 last season, and returned 17 starters from that squad. One could argue that Memphis was one of the better 3-9 teams in the nation, as they were competitive in almost all of their games. They are now one of the better teams in their conference and could actually challenge for the AAC conference title. Memphis is good on both sides of the ball; they have a solid defensive line led by senior defensive end Martin Ifedi and also have one of the best linebacking corps in the conference. On offense they are led by 6’7″ quarterback Paxton Lynch who is completing 66% of his passes for 766 yards and 5 touchdowns. They are also running the ball with great success, averaging 242.7 yards per game (26th in the nation).
I like Ole Miss, I think they’re one of the most talented teams in the SEC this year and to be honest, this is somewhat unfamiliar territory for them. They were thought to be a factor last year, but had a disappointing season. This year they are getting a lot of hype, they’re ranked in the top 10, and who do they have on deck? None other than #3 ranked Alabama at home. If there is ever a time where they could beat Alabama, it’s this year. In any other situation, I’d be inclined to lay the points in this one, but Memphis can’t be taken lightly. This is a team that went out to the west coast and took UCLA to brink. They can score in bunches, and have a very underrated defense. I’m sure Ole Miss will be up to the challenge on Saturday, but you can’t help to think that they might be looking ahead to a game next week that will be the biggest game in quite a while for the program. I’m grabbing the points with Memphis here; they are a good team that will come in with a chip on their shoulder, with players that were ignored by many SEC schools like Ole Miss. Ole Miss gets the job done on Saturday but Memphis doesn’t make it easy.
2014 Week 5 NCAA Football Picks: Memphis +21, Over 59.5
Memphis at Ole Miss Score Prediction: Ole Miss 42 – Memphis 31