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Memphis Tigers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves Free Pick 9/21/13

Arkansas State Red Wolves (2-1) at Memphis Tigers (0-2)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm (Liberty Bowl)

The Line: Memphis Tigers 3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Arkansas State Red Wolves pay a visit to the 0-2 Memphis Tigers Saturday afternoon at 4:30PM in AAC-Sun Belt action.

Arkansas State is 2-1 so far this season with their most recent win coming this past weekend over Troy 41-34.  The Red Wolves offense was fluid in this one as they exchanged touchdowns with Troy all game before sealing the victory on a Fredi Knighten 4th quarter touchdown.  Knighten finished the contest with just three carries for 24 yards but was able to punch the ball in when it mattered most.  Michael Gordon led the way with 2 TD’s and 115 yards and the Red Wolves rushed for 5 total TD’s on the day and 228 total rush yards.  The Red Wolves defense was another story as they routinely let Troy march up and down the field and yielded over 600 total yards for the game.  The Red Wolves cannot rely on their offense to move the ball this efficiently every week and will need the defense to bounce back at Memphis this weekend.

Memphis Tigers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves Free Pick 9/21/13

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis moved to 0-2 on the year as they fell in a heart breaker to in state rival Middle Tennessee 17-15.  The Tigers failed on a late 2 point conversion attempt and their defense could not stop the Blue Raiders from marching down the field for the game winning field goal.  The Memphis offense committed two costly turnovers in this one and totaled just 350 yards for the entire contest.  Running back Brandon Hayes was solid once again with 81 yards on the ground but no touchdowns to show for it.  At quarterback, the Tigers got another average performance from young quarterback Paxton Lynch who threw for 170 yards and a TD in addition to the two turnovers.  Lynch continues to show flashes each week and the Tigers should be optimistic about their offense as the season moves on if he can continue to develop.  

Some trends to consider -- Arkansas State is 5-0-1 against the spread in their last 6 games on field turf and Memphis is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 overall.

The Tigers have been competitive for seven of eight quarters this year and are probably 4-5 snaps away from being 2-0.  The Red Wolves have been impressive on offense this season but have shown vulnerability on the road and in the secondary.  I like Paxton Lynch to keep the positive momentum going and the Memphis D to continue to play disruptive football as the Memphis Tigers get their first win of the season and the cover at home.

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Memphis +3

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