Memphis Tigers at Middle Tennessee State Raiders Free Pick 9/14/13
2013-09-14 06:00:00 EDT
The 0-1 Memphis Tigers look to get in the win column as they take the short trip to Murfreesboro to visit the Middle Tennessee State Raiders Saturday September 14th at 7PM.
Memphis kicked off their season this past weekend after a week 1 bye and hoped to build upon a late season run that saw them win three straight to close out the year and score 40+ points a game doing so. The Tigers played Duke tough through three quarters but were thitemn off when Duke quarterback Anthony Boone was injured and backup and traditional pocket passer Brandon Connette entered the game and proceeded to toss two 4th quarter TD’s to put the Tigers away. Memphis was pleased with redshirt freshman quarterback Paxton Lynch who threw for 148 yards and rushed for 30 in his collegiate debut. If the Tigers want to get into the win column this week they will have to improve on third down where they went 2-13 against Duke. Additionally, with Lynch getting acclimated to the college game, they will need tailback Brandon Hayes to be more productive than 15 carries for 39 yards.
Middle Tennessee State enters this contest sitting at 1-1 after falling at UNC this past weekend 40-20. The Raiders were asleep at the wheel through the first half in this one and fell behind 23-0 at the break. In the 2nd, with UNC dropping into zone coverage, the Raiders were able to get some offense going behind running back Jordan Parker who rushed for a game high 109 yards and 1 TD. Quarterback Kilgore struggled mightily and killed three separate drives with bad turnovers — tallying 3 picks on the day. In addition to their 4 turnovers, the Raiders had 63 penalty yards and were very undisciplined across the board — something they will need to fix if they want to get a win against their in state foe this weekend.
Some trends to consider – Memphis is 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 against C-USA teams and MTSU is 4-1-1 against the spread in their last 6 versus teams with a losing record.
Both of these teams have plenty room from improvement and are undergoing a youth movement on both sides of the ball. The key in this one will be the ability to limit mistakes and how Paxton Lynch progresses in week 2 of his run as starting qb for Memphis. I like the Tigers to get a better game from Lynch and a much needed boost from senior tailback Hayes as the Tigers get the cover on the road.