Houston Cougars (9-2) at Memphis Tigers (7-4)
College Football: Friday, November 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Liberty Bowl)
The Line: Memphis Tigers -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Houston Cougars will travel to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to take on the Memphis Tigers this Friday afternoon in College Football action.
The Houston Cougars won their 3rd straight game and improved to 9-2 (5-2 AAC) on the season after defeating the 5th ranked Louisville Cardinals, 36-10, this past Thursday. Houston was outstanding on the defensive end in the victory as the held Heisman Trophy favorite, Lamar Jackson, and the Cardinals to their lowest scoring output over the season in the victory. Houston outgained Louisville by a 362-312 margin and won the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin. Leading the way for Houston was Greg Ward Jr. who completed 25 of 44 passes for 233 passing yards and 2 TD. On the season, Houston is averaging 37.5 ppg on 444.2 total yards per game (285.1 passing, 159.1 rushing0. Offensively, the Cougars have been led by duel-threat QB Greg Ward Jr. who had completed 67.1% of his passes for 18 TD and 8 INT while averaging 284.1 passing yds/g. Ward Jr. has also been outstanding on the ground as he has 9 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 45.3 rushing yds/g. Leading the Cougars backfield has been Duke Catalon (16.9 att/g, 64.3 yds/g, 3 TD) and Dillon Birden (6.1 att/g, 28.7 yds/g, 6 TD). Linell Bonner (7.6 rec/g, 84.1 yds/g, 2 TD), Chance Allen (4.4 rec/g, 67.5 yds/g, 4 TD), and Steven Dunbar (4.2 rec/g, 56.5 yds/g, 5 TD) have been the leading receivers for the Cougars. Defensively, Houston is holding their opponents to an average of 20.3 ppg on 304.1 total yards per game (210.5 passing, 93.5 rushing).
The Memphis Tigers improved to 7-4 (4-3 AAC) on the season after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats, 34-7, this past Friday. Memphis had no trouble with the Bearcats and easily secured the victory after taking a 27-0 lead at halftime. Memphis outgained Cincinnati by a 331-244 margin and won the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin. Leading the way for the Tigers was QB Jason Steward, who after replacing starter Riley Ferguson who left with an injury, completed 13 of 15 passes for 138 yards and 2 TD’s. On the season, Memphis is averaging 38.7 ppg on 452.9 total yards per game (284.5 passing, 168.4 rushing). Offensively, Memphis has been led by QB Riley Ferguson who had completed 63.4% of his passes for 24 TD and 9 INT while averaging 265.2 passing yds/g. Leading the way for the Tigers backfield has been Doroland Dorceus (10.2 att/g, 63.7 yds/g, 8 TD), Patrick Taylor Jr. (7.6 att/g, 43.3 yds/g, 2 TD), and Darrell Henderson (6.5 att/g, 39.4 yds/g, 4 TD). Memphis has a very deep receiving group which is led by Anthony Miller (6.3 rec/g, 101.3 yds/g, 9 TD), Phil Mayhue (3.0 rec/g, 44.3 yds/g, 2 TD), and Daniel Montiel (2.3 rec/g, 27.6 yds/g, 3 TD). Defensively, Memphis is holding their opponents to an average of 25.5 ppg on 426.2 total yards per game (220.3 passing, 205.9 rushing).
The Cougars are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 road games however, are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games. The Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 conference games and just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Houston will try to follow up their impressive performance against Louisville and close out their regular season with double-digit wins for the 2nd straight year. Memphis has played better as of late, however, might be without their starting QB, Riley Ferguson, who is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury. Although Houston looked great last week, the Cougars seem to have trouble bring the same type of energy against many AAC opponents this season as Houston is just 3-2 in their last 5 AAC games and only beat Tulsa, UCF, and Tulane by an average of 8.6 ppg. This game has yet to be lined due to the uncertain status of Riley Ferguson however, my initial thoughts are to take Memphis as I think they’ll be getting some points and should be able to score against a Cougars defense that can be beaten by the pass. Please check back when this line has posted.