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Memphis Tigers 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Memphis Tigers 2017 Preview

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The Memphis Tigers look to an experienced offense to be a factor in the AAC in 2017.

Overview: Mike Norvell has an experienced offense to lean on but the pass defense has substantial holes to fill. Can the Tigers secondary hold their own and take the pressure off the rest of the unit? 

Memphis Tigers 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Offense:  The Memphis Tigers saw quarterback Riley Ferguson explode over the second half of last season as he was accurate and protected the football and he has most of his receivers returning which is good news. Anthony Miller is the Tigers top target after 95 receptions a year ago while Phil Mayhue and Sam Craft are among the top  options coming back. The Memphis attack was not a one trick pony with Doroland Dorceus back to lead the ground game with Darrell Henderson getting enough work as the back up to flourish. The Tigers  have plenty of experience along the  offensive  line  so moving  the  chains  and  finding  the  endzone should not be a worry for an offense that has virtually everybody coming back.

Defense: The Memphis defense was not very good at stopping the run last season but the defensive line has some decent performers returning with tackle Jonathan Wilson and end Earnest Suttles combining for nearly 12 TFL. The Tigers linebacking unit brings back Jackson Dillon who totaled six TFL in 2015 while Genard Avery logged eleven TFL  last season but there is depth to lean on throughout the front seven and if experience means better performances then the run defense should be improved. There is enough turnover in the secondary that could cause Memphis some worry  but there are some highly rated athletes  in this area so the pass defense should be competent.

Special Teams: Spencer Smith returns after averaging just over 45 yards per punt but placekicker Riley Patterson has big shoes to fill with big legged kicker Jake Elliott departing but Memphis does get back outstanding returner Tony Pollard.

Outlook: The Tigers offense will be a strength with the ability to both run and throw and if the defensive side of the football is viable versus the pass, this team will do plenty of winning and be a threat in the AAC.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. UL Monroe

9-9 @ Central Florida

9-16 vs. UCLA

9-23 vs. Southern Illinois

9-30 @ Georgia State

10-6 @ UConn

10-14 vs. Navy

10-19 @ Houston

10-27 vs. Tulane

11-3 @ Tulsa

11-18 vs. SMU

11-25 vs. East Carolina

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