November 22, 2019

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Matchup Preview: Tulane vs Memphis

The Tulane Green Wave (5-1, 2-0) roll into week 7 of college football after pounding UConn 49-7, and will face the Memphis Tigers (5-1, 1-1) this Saturday, October 19th. Last week, Memphis suffered their first loss of the season, losing to Temple 30-28.

Most sources across the country have Memphis favored by 4 points over Tulane, and according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Tigers have a 59.8% chance of winning.

Inside the Numbers

On paper, Tulane and Memphis are almost identical when diving into statistics. In points per game/points allowed, the Wave and Tigers are within 2 points of each other, with Tulane scoring an average of 39.2 ppg and allowing only 19.2 ppg. For Memphis, the Tigers are scoring 37.8 ppg, while giving up 3 touchdowns on average per game at 21 points even. Slight advantage here for Tulane, but hardly enough to consider the Wave as a lock. 

Offensively, Tulane averages 496.3 yards per game, compared to Memphis who sits at 466.2. On the defensive side of the ball, Memphis is allowing 347.2 yards per game, while Tulane is allowing only 326.3 yards per game. Again, a slight statistical advantage for Tulane, but both teams are near identical coming down to the numbers. 

Keys to the Game

Defensively, Tulane faces a two headed beast in Memphis with QB Brady White and RB Kenneth Gainwell. Brady White is completing nearly 70% of his passes midway through the season, and already has 13 touchdowns through the air. Tulane’s secondary should be on full alert, as White is the best QB they will have faced all year, outside of Houston’s D’Eriq King. Gainwell is the Tiger’s leading rusher, who has 760 yards on the ground this season, with 7 rushing touchdowns. The Tulane front seven must focus on containing Gainwell, who has great speed and big play ability, boasting a season long run of 75 yards against Navy earlier this year. 

For Tulane’s offense, the game-plan should be run focused, as it has been all year. It is vital that the Wave win the time of possession battle and keep the Tiger offense sidelined for as long as possible. The Wave have been outstanding through the ground with their huge committee of backs. Expect Darius Bradwell, Amare Jones, and Corey Dauphine to all play significant snaps for the Wave, keeping the Memphis D guessing with each of Tulane’s 3 standout backs bringing something special to the table. Bradwell has been the Wave workhorse and always reliable for running power up the middle. For the always consistent Amare Jones, look for him to get involved through sweep plays and also getting utilized as a receiving back. Then there is Dauphine, who has proven game in and game out that he possesses the big play ability and can effectively flip the field in seconds. QB Justin McMillan has also been very active in the run game, accounting for 350 rushing yards and leads Tulane in rushing touchdowns with 6. 

Prediction

Expect a very close, low scoring game as both squads have been incredible on defense all year. In the end, Tulane’s offense gives the Wave a slight edge over the Tigers, with their committee of talented backs and receivers being a little too much for the Memphis defense.

Tulane 23, Memphis 17