The Tigers might be facing a bit of a letdown game on Friday night in American Athletic Conference action at Tulsa? Memphis is -10.5 at the NCAAF odds board with a total of 77.
Tigers' Fuente In Demand
Right now, the hottest non-Power 5 coaching candidate in the country is Memphis' Justin Fuente and there's frankly no way he's coaching the Tigers next season. When he took this program over, it was one of the worst in the country. Now Memphis, which was 5-31 in the three previous seasons before Fuente arrived in 2012, is on the third-longest winning streak in the FBS at 13 games, which is a school record. Only powerhouses and national title contenders Ohio State and TCU have longer streaks. This game against Tulsa marks the first time the Tigers play an opponent that is part of the winning streak.
Fuente is almost surely going to get a look from Maryland and South Carolina, two open jobs. Maybe Southern Cal. Fuente also could be interviewed by Virginia and Miami, which both could come open after the season. He will be in Power 5 Conference next year.
Memphis (6-0, 2-0 AAC) pulled off a stunner last week at home, beating No. 12 Ole Miss 37-24, rallying from an early 14-point deficit in the process. Paxton Lynch, the Tigers' 6-foot-7 junior quarterback who is projected as an NFL first-round pick, dominated one of the country's best defenses by completing 39-for-53 for 384 yards and three touchdowns. The completions and attempts were season highs, while the TDs matched a season high. Anthony Miller had a career-high 10 receptions for 132 yards and a score, and Mose Frazier added eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Memphis had 491 yards of offense and held the ball for 37:28. The Tigers trailed 14-0 late in the first quarter and then scored 31 unanswered points. Memphis has come back from deficits in each of its last five games.
That win got Memphis into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2004. It's also the first time that the school is in both polls as it is No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. This game might have a bit more meaning for Fuente as it's his first time coaching in his hometown of Tulsa. Fuente graduated from Oklahoma football power Tulsa Union in 1995.
The Tigers are 3-2-1 against the spread on College Football Odds this season and 4-2 'over/under.'
Tulsa A Middling AAC Team
Tulsa (3-3, 0-2) is two games in the loss column behind Houston and Memphis in the AAC West Division so the Golden Hurricane can probably forget about playing in the conference title game as they already have lost to the Cougars.
Tulsa comes off a 30-17 loss at East Carolina on Saturday; the Pirates led 23-0 entering the fourth quarter so the result was never much in doubt. The Golden Hurricane outgained ECU 463-382 but two first-half turnovers led to 14 East Carolina points. Hurricane QB Dane Evans was 19-for-40 for 288 passing yards and a touchdown. Zack Langer rushed 18 times for 76 yards and a score, while James Flanders, in his first action of the season, ran 13 times for 54 yards. Tulsa was without injured running backs running backs D'Angelo Brewer and Ramadi Warren.
The Hurricane rank second in passing offense in the AAC at 354.5 yards per game and second in total offense at 550.5 yards. But they struggle to stop anyone. They are No. 118 nationally in total defense and No. 106 in scoring (34.8 ppg). Senior safety Michael Mudoh's 12.0 tackles per game rank second in the nation.
This is homecoming for Tulsa, which has the smallest enrollment of any FBS football school (3,473). UT is 3-2-1 ATS on College Football Picks this season and 2-4 O/U.
Memphis beat visiting Tulsa on Halloween last season, 40-20. Brandon Hayes (no longer with team) rushed for a career-high 197 yards on 28 carries with three touchdowns. Lynch was 18-for-31 for 183 yards and also ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Jake Elliott made four field goals, from 53, 37, 47 and 51 yards. Evans was 28-for-54 for 349 yards and two scores for the Golden Hurricane, while Keevan Lucas had 11 catches for 120 yards. Memphis leads 15-10 all-time in the series but had lost the previous four heading into 2014. The schools hadn't played since 2010.
I do worry about a letdown for Memphis, but it should still win by at least 14. So give the points and go 'over.' The Tigers have covered 10 of their past 16 road games. Tulsa has covered one of its past eight at home. The 'over' is 7-2 in Memphis' past nine. The 'over' is 9-2 in Tulsa's past 11 at home.
College Football Pick: Tulsa & Over