Utah State is now essentially a day away from facing off against the Memphis Tigers in the SERVPRO First Responder bowl. Both teams are sitting at 6-6 and both lost their final games of the regular season. In the past five games, Utah State lost two games against Boise State (42-23) and Wyoming (28-14). Memphis, in the past five games, has lost three games to SMU (34-31), UCF (35-28), and Tulane (38-28). Both teams struggled at points but made improvements to move towards 6-6.
Utah State vs Memphis
When: Tuesday, December 27th at 12:15 P.M.
Where: Dallas, Texas
Line: Memphis (-7.5)
Series: Memphis leads the overall series 4-3. The current win steak in this series Memphis by two games in 1972 and 1977. This will be the first meeting between Utah State in several years as both coaches look to end the season the right way.
When Memphis Has the Ball
Seth Henigan has thrown for 3287 yards and 19 touchdowns against 8 interceptions on 266 completions on 417 passes (64%) and receiver Caden Prieskorn has caught 46 passes for 593 yards and six touchdowns.
Memphis scores 35.1 points per game and averages 421.8 offensive yards per game, 279.8 passing yards and 142.1 rushing yards. Defensively, Utah State gives up 30.6 points per game and allows 396.6 total yards per game, 198.4 passing yards and 198.2 rushing yards.
Overall, Utah State has a decent defense that should be able to hold its own against Memphis, however...
When Utah State Has the Ball
Utah State averages 23.3 points per game and 362.3 yards per game, 200.2 passing yards per game and 162.1 rushing yards per game. Cooper Legas, who missed some games this season due to injury, has completed 128 of his 209 passes (61%) and threw for 1465 yards and 11 touchdowns compared to 9 interceptions. Calvin Tyler Jr. has rushed for 1043 yards on 237 carries and 7 touchdowns this season. Receiver Brian Cobbs leads the receivers on the team, catching 70 passes for 844 yards and has four touchdown catches.
Defensively, Memphis gives up 371.9 yards per game and allows 250.2 passing yards per game and 121.8 rushing yards per game. Something to watch is how comfortable Utah State can become in the passing game early in the game.
Utah State and Memphis have both struggled in different areas. Memphis does a good job of scoring points but is not so great defensively while Utah State has struggled on offense while improving on defense.
This game could be very close and could also depend on which offense is more productive. Utah State was able to turn around a rough start to the season to make it to a bowl game and should be excited to be in this one.
Score prediction: Utah State: 34; Memphis: 28