Memphis Tigers vs. SMU Mustangs Game Preview

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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For the second year in a row, the AAC will host ESPN’s College GameDay. This time, the show heads to Memphis, Tennessee to see an explosive Memphis Tigers offense square off against an equally explosive SMU Mustangs offense. Both defenses have playmakers, but were expecting those groups to take a game off. So sit back, buckle up, and enjoy what the Power 6 has to offer.

Date: Saturday, November 2nd
Start time: 6:30pm CT
How to watch: ABC
Line: Memphis -6
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis, TN)

Players to watch


RB Kenneth Gainwell
QB Brady White
LB Austin Hall
CB TJ Carter


QB Shane Buechele
WR James Proche
RB Xavier Jones
WR Reggie Roberson

Memphis Tigers Outlook

An undefeated season came to a halt earlier this year when the Tigers lost to Temple, and a last second win over Tulsa last week made fans uneasy. This is a team loaded with talent, but the results aren’t what we expected. Kenneth Gainwell continues to tear apart opposing defense, and is now averaging nearly 228 total yards per game over the last month. SMU will likely try to slow him down, leaving opportunities for others to step up. Namely, his quarterback.

Brady White’s season has been up and down, but he’s tied for 10th in touchdown passes despite his inconsistencies. We’re still waiting for White to play well in a big game, and he gets another chance on Saturday. Can he step up when his team needs him? If the Tigers fall behind, he’s going to be the most important player for the offense.

SMU Mustangs Outlook

This is the biggest surprise of the AAC. SMU’s explosion starts with their offense, and potential AAC Player of the Year Shane Buechele. The former Texas Longhorns quarterback gives the Mustangs a legitimate threat throwing the ball, and he adds to an offense that’s already loaded. James Proche and Reggie Roberson seem to take turns each week as to who will have a big game. Guard one of them and the other one dominates. Pick your poison, and get ready for the rushing attack even if you stop both.

Xavier Jones comeback to one of the elite running backs in the conference plays a huge role in SMU’s offense. You could argue that it’s just as important as Buechele’s role. No one questions if the offense can do their job, as it will come down to the defense. If they can stop Memphis’ offense, and force Brady White to beat them, life will be good. The fact that they’re a touchdown underdog also factors into this game.


It really doesn’t make sense that Memphis is favored by so much. Maybe someone knows something we don’t, but it seems high. The Liberty Bowl should be packed Saturday, and the Mustangs must deal with that noise. Memphis knows how to beat superior competition, and their fans are used to their team winning at home. Here comes a shootout….we hope. SMU 49 MEMPHIS 45

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