Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Memphis Football 2024 Prediction & Preview with Betting Odds, Schedule, Key Returning Players & Prospects

By meerna Jul11,2024
Memphis Football 2024 Prediction & Preview with Betting Odds, Schedule, Key Returning Players & Prospects

The expectations for Memphis this year are simple: win the AAC and be in the Group of Five to qualify for the College Football Playoff.

Despite not winning a conference title or making it to the New Year’s Six Bowl Game, the Tigers are still coming off a strong 2023 season. Their only losses came at Missouri — a seven-point game — and against Tulane and SMU, the two teams that competed in the AAC Championship. The Tigers, who return several all-conference players, have some momentum after beating Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl and a productive offseason in which Memphis made some quality transfers.

With that in mind, and with SMU heading to the ACC and Tulane undergoing a coaching change, it’s no surprise that Memphis is the favorite to win the AAC title this season.

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According to BetMGM, Memphis has the best odds to win the AAC: +225.

The combined Memphis Over/Under win odds are 9.5, with the Under 9.5 at -155 and the Over 9.5 at +130.

8/31 vs North Alabama

9/7 vs Troy

9/14 @ Florida State

9/21 @ Navy

9/28 vs Middle Tennessee

10/11 at USF

10/19 vs North Texas

10/26 vs Charlotte

11/2 at UTSA

11/8 vs Rice

11/16 against UAB

11/28 in Tulane

Bold indicates AAC competitions

2023 All-AAC 1st Team

LB Chandler Martin

2nd team

WR Roc Taylor

OL Xavier Hill

Quarterback Seth Henigan

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Memphis has had a surprising offense compared to the rest of the Group of Five. And it helps the Tigers that their star quarterback will be back.

Seth Henigan returns after being named second-team All-AAC last year. He led the conference with 3,883 yards and 32 touchdowns, ranked second with a 66.8 percent pass completion percentage and threw nine interceptions. He also ran for 274 yards and five scores.

The return of wide receivers Roc Taylor and Demeer Blankumsee should also help the passing game. Taylor was Memphis’ leading receiver with 1,083 yards on 69 receptions, scoring four touchdowns through the air. Blankumsee caught 53 passes for 901 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.

Memphis lost Blake Watson, who was second in the AAC with 1,152 rushing yards and first with 14 touchdowns on the ground. But the Tigers return Sutton Smith, who was second on the team with 305 receiving yards with two rushing touchdowns and added 152 yards and two scores on 18 catches.

Memphis will look to get back to strength on offense after allowing the third-fewest sacks (19) in the AAC. The Tigers bring back second-team All-Conference offensive lineman Xavier Hill to help lead the team in the trenches.

The Tigers’ transfer class is ranked No. 1 in the AAC by 247Sports. These new players should help them improve on both sides of the ball.

Memphis will look to make strides on defense, especially if the Tigers are going to compete for a conference title. Last year, they ranked ninth in the AAC in total defense, allowing 424.5 yards per game, and scoring defense, allowing 28.8 points per game.

Linebacker Chandler Martin, a 2023 first-team All-Conference selection, returns after recording 95 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and three sacks to go along with two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Other defensive players, including defensive back Greg Rubin (51 tackles), also return.

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I predict Memphis will win the AAC Championship and achieve 9.5+ wins.

The Tigers have almost everything going for them right now. They have a star quarterback like Henigan, they have coach Ryan Silverfield who is ready to lead the team to a conference title, and they have good players on both sides of the ball.

Looking at their 2024 schedule, their trip to Florida State is the only game I see as a clear loss for the Tigers. I can imagine Memphis going 3-1 against non-conference opponents, including a home win over Troy. I also don’t see the Tigers losing to Navy, North Texas, Charlotte, Rice, or UAB.

The problem is that Memphis has to face Tulane, UTSA and USF – who are considered the other favorites to win the AAC – all on the road. That will be especially difficult.

But I see Memphis winning two of those three games and getting better with those tough tests. That would set Memphis up well to win the AAC crown and, if they can go 10-2 in the regular season, be a Group of Five team in the College Football Playoff.


By meerna

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