Photo courtesy of UCF athletics
After suffering a loss at home to Tulsa, the UCF Knights are looking to bounce back with their 14th straight win over the Memphis Tigers on Saturday. The contest can be seen at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
The Knights will charge their way into Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for a showdown against the 1-1 Tigers.
UCF is coming off of a huge 34-26 home loss vs. their kryptonite Tulsa Hurricane. It was the fourth straight loss to Tulsa as UCF will now look to gain momentum for the remainder of the season with a victory against the Tigers. Heading into Saturday’s game, UCF Knight fans may wonder: who are the Memphis Tigers?
Fortunately here at Fifth Quarter, we have a slew of talented writers that know the team they cover inside and out. To give fans a better understanding of what the Knights will look like against the Tigers, we talked to FQ’s Memphis account manager and writers, Jason Ford and Caroline Dodson, on what they see with this Saturday’s match-up.
1. If UCF had to watch one player for Memphis, which player would it be?
Jason Ford: Over the past few years, Memphis has had an impressive stable of running backs, but with key departures to the NFL and Kenny Gainwell sitting out over COVID-19 concerns, you might think you get a pass there. You would be wrong. Rodrigues Clark is averaging six yards a carry and 100 yards per game. He is poised for a breakout game.
Caroline Dodson: Calvin Austin is another player to watch for. If I’m remembering right, he plays a number of positions and the minute he’s feeling it, he’s like another Gainwell.
2. Other Memphis players to watch for and why.
Jason: Obviously Brady White’s experience at quarterback is going to be a concern. He has been around so long that he is working in a doctorate. That’s not a joke. He always puts up gaudy numbers. The key will be limiting his mistakes.
Wide receiver Damontie Coxie is likely to be real problem for the UCF secondary. He is averaging 11 yards per catch and is a surefire NFL talent. His ability to snag seemingly impossible downfield catches is uncanny. Plus, he has a big body at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.
Sean Dykes is the most productive receiver for Memphis with three touchdowns and a 14-yard per catch average, and he does this from the tight end spot. He is 6-2 and 225 pounds. While he is not as big as many tight ends in the league, he has tight end strength and receiver speed.
3. WHAT SCARES YOU ABOUT THIS KNIGHTS TEAM?
Jason: I am afraid of how the Memphis defense will match up against Dillon Gabriel and his receiving corps. The Tigers’ secondary looked sluggish at times against SMU.
Caroline: Really, I’m just scared that Memphis will get caught falling behind again. UCF has always known how to capitalize on that and punish Memphis for not coming out strong.
4. WHAT ARE YOUR OVERALL EXPECTATIONS FOR MEMPHIS THIS WEEKEND?
Jason: Memphis will bounce back after a sluggish start against SMU. I look for them to be sharper on defense and more focused on offense. There will also be an increase in fan attendance up to 12,000, which should create a better home atmosphere. I like Memphis to break the losing streak at home.
Caroline: I agree the extra fans will be important but I’m expecting a number of penalties on both teams for the beginning of the game. Everyone is always incredibly energetic and it’s going to cause problems — i.e. false starts or offsides or maybe even personal fouls.
5. FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:
Jason: Memphis 38, UCF 28
Caroline: Memphis 40, UCF 38
Shayler (FQ Staff): Memphis 37, UCF 34 in overtime