Houston vs. Memphis prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Cougars and Tigers.
Houston vs. Memphis Game Preview
When: Friday, November 25 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
TV Broadcast: ABC
Houston used a complete effort to knock off Louisville and make the Cardinals’ playoff chances disappear with a 36-10 domination this past Thursday night. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns while the Cougars defense kept Louisville to 312 total yards and forced three turnovers.
Memphis controlled the game against Cincinnati, defeating the Bearcats, 34-7, to improve to 7-4. Quarterback Riley Ferguson left the game after suffering an injury, and his status is currently unknown for the matchup this weekend.
What To Know About Houston
Houston showed why it was an early playoff contender this season in the victory against Louisville, as the defense shut down Heisman Trophy leader Lamar Jackson and dominated at the line of scrimmage. The running game was lacking, though, as the Cougars gained just 64 total yards on the ground. That should be a focus against Memphis, which ranks No. 95 in the nation in rushing defense by allowing 205.91 yards per game.
With Ferguson likely out for Memphis, the Houston defense will focus on shutting down running back Doroland Dorceus and making backup quarterback Jason Stewart beat them throwing the ball.
What to Know About Memphis
The legs of Dorceus will get a workout with Ferguson being out, as the Tigers will try to control the ball and time of possession with a running game and give Stewart opportunities to throw quick passes. The problem with that? Houston is No. 2 in the nation in rushing defense, giving up only 93.55 yards per game. The Tigers must run the ball to set up the pass.
Keeping Ward Jr. in check will be the key task for a Memphis defense that has given up a lot of yards this season. Teams that have been successful against Houston have been able to pressure Ward Jr. and force him into mistakes.
Offense: Houston. The Cougars average 37.5 points per game.
Defense: Houston. Because of the offense, the defense is often overlooked. They are a solid unit.
Special Teams: Memphis. The Tigers are No. 1 in the nation in opponent punt returns, allowing a mere 32.5 yards per game.
Coaching: Houston. Texas? LSU? Baylor? Where will Tom Herman be coaching next season?
Intangibles: Memphis. Memories of the 35-34 loss last season is still fresh in the Tigers’ minds.
Matchup To Watch
Doroland Dorceus vs. Houston rush defense
Memphis will have to run the ball. Doing that against the Cougars will not be easy.
Houston vs. Memphis Betting Odds
Spread: Not available at time of post
Over/Under: Not available at time of post
Houston vs. Memphis Prediction
If Riley Ferguson was healthy for Memphis, this would be a great game. It doesn’t look like he will play, though, and that will make the Tigers one-dimensional – bad news against a team of Houston’s caliber. Greg Ward Jr. will have a good game, and the Cougars will run away with the victory.
Houston vs. Memphis Score Prediction: Houston 35, Memphis 20