Depth Chart |
How many teams can lose their starting quarterback three plays
into the season, lose the backup a few games later, start a wide
receiver at quarterback for most of the year, have so many injury
problems on the defensive line that the scheme had to turn to a
2-4-5 at times, and still be good enough to get to a bowl game?
The Tigers rode the legs of star running back DeAngelo Williams
and got just enough big plays from the defense to pull off six wins
before beating Akron in the Motor City Bowl. For a program that
hadn't been to a post-season game since 1971, three straight bowl
games is impressive, and now it's time to shoot for bigger things.
Head coach: Tommy West
6th year: 32-28
12th year overall: 67-63
Off. 28, Def. 27, ST 2
Best Tiger Players
1. FS Wesley Smith, Sr.
2. OG Blake Butler, Sr.
3. RB Joseph Doss, Jr.
4. P Michael Gibson, Sr.
5. WR Ryan Scott, Sr.
6. LB Quinton McCrary, Jr.
7. CB Jamaal Rufus, Sr.
8. OT Willie Henderson, Sr.
9. WR Maurice Jones, Soph.
10. WR Mario Pratcher, Sr.
at Ole Miss
at East Carolina
2005 Record: 7-5
2005 predicted wins
Ole Miss L 10-6
L 37-31 OT
at Houston W 35-20
UAB L 37-20
at Tennessee L 20-16
So Miss W 24-22
Motor City Bowl
Akron W 38-31
Good enough to beat UTEP and Southern Miss, Memphis blew its shot to
play for the Conference USA title with losses to UCF and UAB. With a
little bit more consistency and no slip ups against the teams in the
East, the Tigers should be good enough to finally get over the hump
and play for the conference title.
if the team could go 7-5 last year with all the adversity, then
shouldn't it be able to be a major contender this year? The schedule
helps in a big way with Southern Miss and UCF coming to the Liberty
Bowl, and the toughest road trip not coming until the end when the
Tigers have to go to UTEP. The team has an influx of revitalized
talent back after spending last year getting healthy, and there are
good replacements for the lost starters.
Patrick Byrne and Will Hudgens return at
quarterback coming off the broken legs suffered last year, while JUCO
transfer Martin Hankins appears good enough to take over the starting
job. They have big
arms and are great at throwing the deep ball, so the attack should be
more explosive with Ryan Scott, Mario Pratcher and the rest of the tall,
fast receiving corps ready to put up bigger numbers. All five starters
return to the offensive line that will pave the way for a good season
for shifty back Joseph Doss, who'll pick up the slack with Williams
gone. The defense won't be a rock, but five starters return to the
secondary and there are good athletes up front.
A fourth straight bowl trip is a lock and there's nothing
the team can't handle at this point, so that means there are big
expectations. Memphis doesn't want to be one of those programs that got
hot and then hit a plateau, it needs to show that the team was more than
just DeAngelo Williams and show that this is a burgeoning power that's a
few steps away from being something special. That step should be taken
couldn't work out nicer with four key league games (Tulsa, Southern
Miss, UCF and Houston)
at home and four of the five road trips against teams that didn't go to
a bowl last year. The non-conference schedule has an interesting mix
starting off at Ole Miss followed up by the layup against UT
Chattanooga. The Tennessee game should be interesting with the Vols
looking ahead to the showdown with Georgia the following week. Five of
the final seven games are at home.
Senior G Blake Butler. Able to play any spot on the line, the 287-pound
Butler is the most versatile and talented player on the veteran front
line. He's the team's most technically sound blocker and will be the key
cog paving the way for Joseph Doss and the ground game.
Defensive Player: Senior FS Wesley Smith. The All-America safety
made 98 tackles as a freshman, 89 as a sophomore and 82 last year
earning first-team All-Conference USA honors in each season. He's big,
fast, and as sure a tackling defensive back as there is in the country.
to a successful season:
Sophomore PK Trey Adams, sophomore
Kittrell Smith and freshman Matt Reagan.
Seven of the Tigers' games were decided by seven points or less last
year, and now all-star kicker Stephen Gostkowski is gone. A steady
kicker could be the difference between a good year and a Conference USA
will be a success if ... Memphis wins the East. There are too many holes to fill and
too much overall uncertainty on defense to demand a conference title
considering how strong the West is, but there's no reason the Tigers
can't win the East. The schedule and the firepower on offense should be
enough to get it done.
Sept. 16 at East Carolina. Memphis should be good enough to win its
second Conference USA game of the year at UAB, so a win over the Pirates
in the league opener is key to hoping to get through the East unscathed.
East Carolina is looking to make a statement and will be pumped up to
get in the East race, too.
- Second quarter scoring: Memphis 123 - Opponents 61
- Sacks: Memphis 22 for 159 yards - Opponents 9 for 63 yards
- Passing yards per game: Opponents 279.8 - Memphis 130
The Last Time
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Motor City Bowl vs. Akron)
…missed a bowl game…2002
…pitched a shutout…2000 (UL-Monroe)
…was shutout…1999 (Ole Miss)
…scored 50 points…2005 (UT-Chattanooga)
…won a conference title…1971 (Missouri Valley)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Danny Wimprine)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (DeAngelo Williams)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1993 (Isaac Bruce)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (RB DeAngelo Williams)