Memphis-Tulane: Led by Henderson, Tigers Will Run Over Green Wave

Monday, September 24, 2018 1:24 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 1:24 PM UTC

Two games on the college football schedule this Friday, with Memphis visiting Tulane in American Athletic Conference action on ESPN2 kicking things off.

Matthew's 2018 NCAAF ATS Record: 5-4 (1 pending)

Memphis (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) at Tulane (1-3, SU, 2-2 ATS)Friday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)Free NCAAF Pick: Tigers (at -13.5)Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Memphis won the American Athletic Conference West Division last season, and if the Tigers have any realistic chance at returning to the AAC title game they can’t afford an upset loss at Tulane on Friday night. That’s because the Tigers already have one conference loss, coming at Navy 22-21 on Sept. 8. Memphis was outscored 13-0 in the fourth quarter of that one. It was the first time Navy won a game it trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter in 10 years.

It’s the AAC opener for Tulane, which isn’t winning the West Division. Not a great program as the Green Wave haven’t finished with a winning record since 2013 when they were in Conference USA. The school has been to just two bowl games this century, losing that ’13 New Orleans Bowl and winning the 2002 Hawaii Bowl.

Memphis is 22-11 all-time vs. Tulane and has taken the past 11 meetings. Last year at home, the Tigers were 10.5-point favorites and rolled to a 56-26 victory. Riley Ferguson (now gone) threw for 298 yards and threw scores and rushed for two more. Memphis rushed for 259 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries. Jonathan Banks threw for three TDs in the loss. He’s still around for Tulane.

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As a reminder, here’s some of the scenarios I laid out for Memphis in the AAC West title race. With that Navy loss, these scenarios get intriguing if the Tigers continue taking care of business.https://t.co/n3IRLcfOVL

— Evan Barnes (@evan_b) September 22, 2018
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Memphis Has Nation’s Top Rusher

Memphis has scored at least 52 points in all three of its blowout wins in 2018. It beat South Alabama 52-35 last Saturday. The Tigers were 31.5-point favorites but found themselves tied 21-all at halftime. Junior Darrell Henderson, who entered the game as the nation's leading rusher, was looking to become the second running back in school history to have three straight 200-yard games – long-time NFL player DeAngelo Williams also did it.

Alas, Henderson was “held” to 188 yards and two scores on 22 carries vs. South Alabama (one 53-yard run was called back due to penalty). He still leads the nation in rushing with 709 yards and is second (to FAU’s Devin Singletary) with eight rushing scores. Henderson also leads the FBS with six runs of 50 yards or more. Redshirt junior QB Brady White also is having a good season, throwing for 1,064 yards and 12 scores with just one pick (in the Navy loss). White beat out sophomore David Moore in summer camp. White is a graduate transfer from Arizona State with two years of eligibility remaining.

Tulane got paid a pretty penny on Saturday to go lose 49-6 at No. 4 Ohio State in Urban Meyer’s return to the sideline. The Green Wave were outgained 570-256 and had just 100 yards rushing on 42 carries. OSU scored TDs on its first six possessions. Banks finished 8-for-14 for 141 yards. Tulane didn’t turn the ball over for the first time all season. It also didn’t force a turnover for the first time.

Under Coach Willie Fritz, Tulane is now 1-12 when it scores 20 points or fewer. The Green Wave are 9-7 when they score at least 21. When the opponent scores first, Tulane is 3-16 under Fritz. It is 1-18 when trailing at halftime.

  • Tigers are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Tulane.

Fridays don’t suit the Green Wave as they have covered just one of their past 11 on that night. Meanwhile, Memphis has covered its past six on Fridays and seven of its past nine overall vs. teams with a losing record. Go Tigers for a Friday NCAAF pick.

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