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Iowa State Football Preview: Memphis

The Liberty Bowl is here!

Syndication: The Commercial Appeal Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

About Memphis

Memphis finished 9-3 on the season with losses to Missouri, Tulane, and SMU. Ryan Silverfield is in his fourth full season as the Memphis head coach. He took over the squad when Jay Norvell left for Florida State following the 2019 season. He also happened to be an offensive consultant for Matt Campbell on his Toledo staff.

The Tigers are one of the most prolific offenses in the country. 5th in the country yards per game, 5th in passing yards, and middle of the road at 59th on the ground. Doing all this they manage to put up 39 points per game which is goos enough for 7th in the country. While they are the high flyers on offense their defense is another story.

The Tigers' defense has a ton of holes mainly in the run game. Memphis gives up yards rushing per game and 226 yards passing per game. In all, they are the 130th-ranked defense in all of FBS. An area of attack for this Iowa State offense for sure.

Player to Watch

Seth Henigan the Tigers quarterback has thrown for over 3,500 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions this season. With Memphis being one of the more powerful offenses in the country, Henigan is the engine that makes it all go. Iowa State will have to pressure him with the loss of their offensive lineman to keep him from putting the Memphis offense on schedule.

Three Things That Will Happen

1- Abu Sama will rush for 150 yards

2- Ben Brahmer will lead Iowa State in receptions

3- Caleb Bacon will record an interception

Final Analysis

This game has me baffled a bit here. I am not quite sure what to think about it. Memphis has a weak defense and Iowa State has done a much better job being consistent on offense. On the other hand, this Memphis offense is high flying and TJ Tampa is out and more than likely so will Malik Verndon. Iowa State hasn’t generated a ton of pressure on the quarterback this season with the defensive line. With Memphis being down two starting offensive linemen there should be some opportunity to change that. The game will be won or lost on the defensive side of the ball for Iowa State. You hold your own there and limit the explosion from Memphis, there should be a nice bell trophy coming home to Ames.

Score Prediction

Iowa State - 31

Memphis - 28