2013 Memphis Spring Football Analysis
Memphis Tigers 2013 ...
Head Coach: Justin Fuente
Why To Get Excited … sure, the Tigers went 4-8 a year ago, but they also finished with a three-game winning streak for the first time in seven years. The program has a head of steam, a fresh face on the sidelines, Justin Fuente, and a new home in the Big East. While no one is ready to book hotel rooms for the postseason, Memphis has reason for optimism in football for the first time in a long time.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 OPEN DATE
9/14 at Middle Tennessee
9/21 Arkansas State
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/12 at Houston
10/26 OPEN DATE
11/9 UT Martin
11/16 at USF
11/23 at Louisville
12/7 at Connecticut
Why To Be Grouchy … competing in Conference USA was a perennial uphill battle for Memphis. Climbing the ladder in the Big East will be even tougher. Fuente and his staff did a commendable job in 2012, but the Tigers are still very light on talent in all phases of the game. They’re going to need recruit a far better caliber of athlete in order to turn moral victories into the kinds that routinely impact the standings.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … igniting the offense. Against Conference USA competition, the Tigers still managed just 318 yards a game, good for 110th nationally. The challenge for offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey gets markedly tougher this fall. It’ll be incumbent upon RB Brandon Hayes to pick up where he left off last November, while senior QB Jacob Karam does a better job of stretching out opposing defenses.
Team Concerns For 2013: Justin Fuente gets a ton of starters back just in time for the move to the Big East, and now he has to get his offense to work. The plus should be a decent line that gets back four starters, but the passing game that cranked out a mere 167 yards per game has to do more. It came up some big plays down the field, but there wasn't enough production when the defense was giving up points in bunches. 318 yards of total offense isn't going to get it done in the new league.
Non-Conference Games: Duke, at Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, UT Martin
Realistic Best Case Record: 6-6
Worst Case Record: 1-11
Likely Finish: 3-9
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: at Middle Tennessee, UT Martin, Temple
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Duke, Arkansas State, UCF, at Houston, SMU, Cincinnati, at USF, at Louisville, at Connecticut
Schedule Analysis: The Tigers are picking the wrong time to upgrade the schedule. However, for most BCS teams, starting out against Duke, Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State wouldn’t be a problem, and the Tigers might be underdogs in all three games. They only leave the state once from the start of the season until November 16th, but then comes the payoff going on the road for three of the final four games dealing with USF, Louisville and Connecticut while hosting Temple. Missing Rutgers is a big break.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Skill players. Make this a third time in four years that Memphis picked up several skill players, but Justin Fuente really went nuts trying to improve the overall athleticism and team speed. JUCO receivers Joe Craig and Adrian Henderson are for now, but E.A. Watkins, running back Marquis Warford and quarterback Brayden Scott are for a few years from now. there aren't many standout running backs, but there are plenty of them with a few certain to be moved over to the defensive backfield. Offensive tackle George Roberts might be the team's best recruit, but JUCO transfers Will Dancy and Nykiren Wellington are going to fill out the depth early on.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 86. That Class Was Heavy On ... After
going after skill players over the last two classes, Memphis will be
hitting the defensive side hard. New head coach Justin Fuentes has to
upgrade the offensive line to allow all the young playmakers to shine, and while the Tigers should be fine for the next year or so, Fuentes needs players to develop for 2014.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
73. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. What do you get for the team that needs everything? Everything. Larry Porter sprinkled in a few linemen here, a couple of defensive backs there, and a lot of skill players to try to jump-start the offense sooner than later. Big passers Domonique Harris and Taylor Reed will fight it out for time in the near future, but running back Artaves Gibson will be expected to see work immediately and the hope will be for Ryan Byrd and/or Jermaine Johnson to be a No. 1 receiver early on.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 78. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. New
head coach Larry Porter isn't going to start out his
era without any firepower. JUCO running back Ketarus
Stanton and running back Jerrell Rhodes and Sean
Farr from Hargrave Military Academy might be plugged
in immediately. It'll be an interesting battle for
the starting quarterback gig with four passers
brought in. Kevin Wright is the best of the bunch,
but JUCO transfer Andy Summerlin is ready right now.
He'll be in spring ball and might have the inside
track for the No. 1 spot.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 95. That Class Was
Heavy On ... offensive linemen. Faced with some turnover in the trenches, Tommy West aimed to keep the area replenished by inking five linemen no smaller than 6-4 and 275 pounds. Of the group, G Ricky Hart really has Tiger fans excited. A 6-3, 315-pound drive blocker, who was pursued by the ACC and SEC, he’ll likely spend just one year as a backup before moving into the starting lineup.