# 80 Memphis Tigers Preview

Latest Casino News 22 Dec , 2017 0

Spring practices are in the books and fall camps will be here before you know it so that means getting an early jump on the 2006 NCAA football season. Knowing the teams now will save you time in August and Matt Fargo is here to help you get a grasp of what to expect this upcoming year. We go from worst to first in this 2006 College Football Preview.

# 80 - Memphis Tigers 7-5 SU; 6-5 ATS

Fargo's Take no team in the country was affected by more significant player injuries than the Tigers were last season yet they were still able to put together a winning campaign including a bowl victory. That just shows how important tailback DeAngelo Williams was to Memphis. The Tigers lost both quarterbacks and were decimated along the defensive line but they held tough and won five of their final seven games securing a third straight bowl game. Replacing Williams will obviously be impossible but Memphis is healthy once again and the defense has experience all over the place meaning the Tigers are not dead. They have had three straight winning seasons and three straight bowl bids and while a lot of that can be attributed to Williams, there are numerous other contributors that made this team go. The defense will be solid once again and if transfer quarterback Martin Hankins can live up to his billing, Memphis could be even better. However, the departure of the greatest player in the history of the program keeps them ranking down until proven differently.

Returning Starter on Off - 6 Memphis was forced to run the ball the vast majority of the time last season following the loss of the top two quarterbacks within the first month of the season. Even though teams knew what was coming, Williams still managed to put up over 2,000 yards on the ground and score 18 times. That production will not be duplicated by anyone taking over but the Tigers do have some excellent depth at tailback with the much anticipated start of freshman TJ Pitts. There will be a three-way audition at quarterback but all signs point to Hankins being the man. He is coming in from Southeastern Louisiana where he led the country in passing in 2004 and will no doubt improve the Tigers on their 111th ranking in passing indemnity from last year. 4/5 of the offensive line returns which will provide a very easy transition for the new personnel to step in.

Returning Starter on Defense - 6 The defense finished 80th in the country in total defense but 36th in scoring defense and the return of many key players from injury to go along with some solid transfers hints at a much improved unit in 2006. Injuries hit so hard last season that the Tigers were forced to play a 2-4-5 defense toward the end of the season but things will be back to normal this year. The defensive line will benefit the most with Rubio Phillips and Van Houston healthy again along with the addition of two transfers from Mississippi. The passing defense was a huge liability last year but it could have the strength this season as five players with starting experience are back led by All-C-USA free safety Wesley Smith. Memphis has allowed 276 ypg and 280 ypg through the air over the last two seasons and that will no doubt decrease this year. Overall, this defense can be one of the better units in the conference.

Schedule The biggest challenge for the Tigers in 2006 is their schedule which might not look overly difficult on paper, but in reality it is a very tough slate. The Tigers have seven home games but only two of those are sure wins (Chattanooga and Arkansas St.). A non-conference game against Tennessee along with four contests against four of the top teams in the conference makes for one difficult home schedule. The first four road games are all coin tosses with the final game of the season at UTEP being the biggest challenge. Five of the final seven games are at home which will certainly help matters coming down the stretch. The schedule is capable but with the way it sets up with very few sure wins both at home and on the road may make the going tough for Memphis to make it four straight winning seasons.

You can bet on ... Memphis will be a much more balanced team in 2006 and that will make it tougher on opposing defenses that are accredited to the Tigers running in down their throats. The emergence of Hankins will be the x-factor in making the offensive go and if he can make it work, Memphis will be a tough out. Last season, the Tigers had their first winning ATS record since 1999 but they continue to be a liability when favored. Memphis is just 14-24 against the number when laying points over the last seven years. The Tigers likely will not be in that role until the sixth game of the season when they host Arkansas St.. That game precedes their conference home opener against Tulsa so there is a strong possibility of looking past the Indians.


Source by Matt Fargo


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