Week 11 – Tulane at Memphis

Posted Nov 9, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Tulane at Memphis

Tulane (2-7) at Memphis (1-8) Nov. 10, 7:00

Here's The Deal: Playing for pride at this stage of the season, first-year head coach Justin Fuente of Memphis and Curtis Johnson of Tulane want to use the stretch run as a launching pad to 2013.

The Green Wave has split its last four games, and has been entertaining ever since QB Ryan Griffin returned from an injury on Oct. 13. If Tulane is going to make it three wins in the last five games, it'll need to buck history, having lost its last six games versus Memphis dating back to 2000.

Fuente's rebuilding project with the Tigers is more complex than Johnson's with the Green Wave. Overmatched even by Conference USA benchmarks, Memphis has dropped the last four games, though did put a scare into Marshall late in last week's game.

Why Tulane Might Win: Griffin has smashed Tulane's single-game passing record … in each of the last two games.

The senior is performing as if he plans to continue playing on Sundays, throwing 14 touchdown passes and three picks since returning. He and top receivers Ryan Grant and Xavier Rush will prove to be too much for Memphis' 99th-ranked pass efficiency defense.

Why Memphis Might Win: Tulane's defense pretty much ensures that no lead is ever safe.

The Green Wave ranks last in a league not known for its defenses in both run D and total D. While the Tigers haven't had a lot of success on the ground, that could change this week. A couple of JUCO transfers, Jai Steib of College of the Desert (Calif.) and Brandon Hayes of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, have complemented each other well in recent weeks.

What To Watch Out For: With Griffin garnering so much attention, it ought to open up running lanes for Tulane backs Orleans Darkwa and Rob Kelley. Darkwa has all-star potential when healthy, while the fullback-sized Kelley has become a factor in the attack both as a runner and a receiver.

What Will Happen: The Tulane passing game is by far the best unit in a game between two subpar programs. Griffin will remain hot at the expense of a young and thin Memphis defensive backfield, throwing for 350 yards and three more scores. The Green Wave will prove too potent for a Tigers team averaging only 18 points a game.

CFN Prediction: Tulane 40 … Memphis 21
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Tulane -2 O/U: 56.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 1