MEMPHIS, Tenn. – On Saturday, November 27, the University of Memphis Tigers will face AAC rival Tulane at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be nationally broadcast on ESPNU. You can also hear the game on the radio at 98.9 THE ROAR of MEMPHIS.
SETTING THE SCENE
• This past Friday, the Tigers fell on the road to No. 17/17-ranked Houston, 31-13. Wide receiver Calvin Austin III led Tiger offense with a sixth 100-yard receiving performance. He had five receptions for 103 yards.
• Defensively, linebacker JJ Russell had a game-high nine tackles to go with one interception and one quarterback hurry, while defensive back Rodney Owens had eight stops with a pick.
• Last season, Memphis posted a record of 8-3 in head coach Ryan Silverfield’s first season at the helm of the program. The year ended in a 25-10 victory over Florida Atlantic at the Montgomery Bowl.
• Tulane posted the team’s second win of the season in convincing fashionThis Saturday, April 14, 2014, at 45-14 in New Orleans The Green Wave seized control quickly, taking a 28-0 lead after the first quarter.
• Despite the team’s 2-9 record, Tulane will be a formidable opponent for the Tigers, with four losses coming by seven points or less for the Green Wave.
• Prior to the start of the season, the Green Wave were tabbed to finish seventh in the AAC, just two spots behind the Tigers in a poll conducted of the league’s media.
• Last season, Tulane finished a COVID-19 shortened season with an overall record of 6-6 and a conference mark of 3-5. The Green Wave was awarded a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where they lost to Nevada 38-27.
INSIDE THE SSERIES
• Saturday’s game against Tulane will mark the 38th all-time meeting between the two programs dating back to the 1954 season.
• The Tigers lead the overall series, 23-13-1, including an impressive mark of 14-2 in Memphis. The Tigers have won seven consecutive series at home, including the last loss to Tulane at Liberty Bowl in 1998.
• The two teams have alternated victories in the last four contests, but Memphis has dominated recently, winning 12 of the last 14 games.
• Last season, Tulane took down the Tigers, 35-21, in New Orleans to hand Memphis the team’s third and final loss of the season. Wide receiver Calvin Austin III had five receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown, while defensive end Morris Joseph had seven stops including a sack, two tackles for loss, and seven tackles.
ONE OF THE ELITE PROGRAMS IN NATIONAL
• Memphis has posted 70 victories since 2014, giving the Tigers the 10th-most wins in the nation during that stretch.
• The 70 wins are the most among American Athletic Conference schools during that stretch.
• The Tigers also rank 15th in the country in winning percentage dating back to 2014 with their 70-32 (.686) mark.
• The Tigers have faces six opponents this year who are bowl eligible, which ranks 21st in the nation in most bowl-eligible opponents faced.
• Memphis is 2-4 in those contests this year, with victories over Mississippi State and SMU. Houston, UCF and East Carolina have been the Tigers’ losers.
HOME FIELD AVANTAGE
• Memphis has had a great home field advantage at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, posting a record of 35-5 (.875) since head coach Ryan Silverfield joined the coaching staff in 2016.
• As a head coach, Silverfield is 10-2 (.833) at the Liberty Bowl.
• A total of 17 Tigers will participate in the Senior Day ceremony before the game on Saturday.
• The players participating will be Calvin Austin III, Preston Brady, Keith Brown Jr., Xavier “Zay”Cullens Sean Dykes Cameron Fleming, Jacobi Franz, Quindell John, Tyrez Lindsey and Treysen Nal, Jeremiah Oatsvall Rodney Owens Dylan Parham Thomas Pickens JJ Russell John Tate IV, Kylan Watkins
• Some of the players participating in the Senior Day ceremony have eligibility remaining and could return next season.
• Memphis is 17-2 in the team’s last 19 games in November dating back to the 2016 season.
• The Tigers saw the team’s 17-game win streak in the month snapped against East Carolina in overtime, 30-29, on Nov. 13.
• Memphis’ win over Florida Atlantic in the Montgomery Bowl marked the program’s seventh-straight season with a bowl game appearance.
• The 25-10 victory over FAU under head coach Ryan Silverfield marked the first win in a bowl game since earning a 55-48 win over BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl in 2014.
• Entering 2021, Memphis has the longest active streak of bowl appearances in the AAC at seven.
AMAZING AUSTIN III
• Redshirt senior Calvin Austin III has established himself as one of the best wide receivers and weapons in the NCAA.
• Austin III ranks 12th in the NCAA in receiving yards (1,129), 14th in receiving yards per game (102.6), 18th in receptions per game (6.5) and 27th in receiving touchdowns (8).
• He leads the AAC in receiving yards, receiving yards per game and receptions per game.
• Austin III has posted two of the top-five receiving games in program history this year. His 239 yards at Arkansas State rank second and his 200 at Tulsa rank five.
ONE OF THE BEST RECEIVERS IN MEMPHIS HISTORY
• Wide receiver Calvin Austin III is having a historic season and career for the Tigers.
• With his 1,129 receiving yards, Austin III ranks fifth all-time on the Memphis single-season list and in a tie for fifth on the receptions list (72).
• He also ranks tied for 11th on the program’s single-season receiving touchdown list (8).
• For his career, Austin III ranks in a tie for second in receiving touchdowns (22), fourth in receiving yards (2,521), and fifth in receptions (154).
TRUE FRESHMAN HENIGAN CONTINUES to SHINE
• True freshman Seth Henigan has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation this season.
• Henigan ranks 11th in the NCAA in passing yards per completion (14.36), 12th in passing yards per game (298.6), 14th in total offense (311.7), 15th in passing yards (2,986) and 22nd in passing touchdowns (22).
• Henigan is the highest-ranked true freshman in each of the categories.
• With his 2,986 passing yards on the season, Henigan broke Paxton Lynch’s program record of 2,056 passing yards as a freshman, set during Lynch’s redshirt year in 2013.
• Henigan’s 463 passing yards at Tulsa were the fourth-most passing yards in Memphis history.
• After his 22-of-33 for 417 yards and five touchdown performance at Arkansas State on Sept. 11, Henigan was named to the Davey O’Brien Award’s Great 8 and to the midseason Davey O’Brien Award Watch List.
• Against Nicholls on Sept. 4, Henigan became the first true freshman QB to start a season opener in Memphis football history.
RUSSELL TACKLES IT ALL
• Linebacker JJ Russell ranks third in the NCAA in solo tackles (6.5) and seventh in total tackles (10.3).
• On the season, he leads the team with 113 total tackles, including 72 solo.
YOUTH IS SERVED
• Memphis has played a total of 27 redshirt or true freshmen this season. 12 of those totals are true freshmen.
• Of the true freshmen who have played, quarterback Seth Henigan and defensive back Greg Rubin have each started 10 of 11 games.
• Defensive back Quindell Johnson ranks 10th in the NCAA this season in solo tackles (5.5) and 30th in the country in total tackles (8.6).
IMPRESSIVE OFFENSIVE NUMBERS
• The Tigers have been lighting up the scoreboard this year, establishing the unit as one of the best in the AAC.
• The Tigers rank 18th in the NCAA in passing offense (295.4) and 36th in the nation in total offense (438.8).
• Fifth-year Sean Dykes is making his case as one of the best tight ends in the country this season, posting 41 receptions for 568 yards and seven touchdowns.
• His seven touchdowns are tied for fourth amongst all tight ends in the country, while his 568 receiving yards are eighth best and his 41 receptions are seventh most.
• Dykes is the most prolific tight end in program history with his 1,705 receiving yards.
• Prior to this season, he was named to the Mackey Award Watch List and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List.
• In 2020, Dykes earned Honorable-Mention All-American Athletic Conference honors after reeling in 47 receptions for 581 yards and seven touchdowns.
• He averaged 12.4 yards per catch and totaled two games with over 100 yards receiving, including a standout performance in the victory over USF, going for 147 yards and two scores on seven catches.
• Redshirt punter Joe Doyle has been terrific for the Tigers this season, establishing himself as one of the best in the nation.
• On the year, Doyle has punted 38 times for an average of 46.1 yards, including 14 of 50 yards or more and 14 inside the 20-yard line.
• For his efforts, Doyle was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List.
MADE IN MEMPHIS
• Since 2015, 11 Memphis players have been drafted by the National Football League.
• RB Kenneth Gainwell was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round (150th overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft.
• With his selection, Memphis has had at least one player selected in eight-straight NFL Drafts.
• On current NFL rosters, five former Tigers are listed at running back (Antonio Gibson, Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard, Kenneth Gainwell Patrick Taylor Jr.).
• Currently, 12 Tigers are on NFL rosters –RB Tony Pollard (Dallas), PK Riley Patterson (Detroit Lions), RB Patrick Taylor Jr. (Green Bay), RB Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams), DL Bryce Huff (New York Jets), LB Genard Avery (Philadelphia), K Jake Elliott (Philadelphia), RB Kenneth Gainwell (Philadelphia), CB Arthur Maulet (Pittsburgh), WR Anthony Miller (Pittsburgh), RB Antonio Gibson (Washington) and CB Bobby McCain (Washington).
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