NOTES: Tigers Open AAC Play at Temple
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The University of Memphis Tigers will head east to open the American Athletic Conference game against Temple in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 2.
The game is scheduled for a kick-off at 11 a.m. CT and will be televised live nationally on ESPNU. The contest can also be heard on the radio on 98.9 THE ROAR OF MEMPHIS.
• Last Saturday, the Tigers fell to unbeaten UTSA 31-28 on a field goal at the end of time. Tight end Sean Digues made six catches for a career-high 167 yards, while wide receiver Calvin Austin III had six receptions for 142 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown.
• Last season, Memphis posted an 8-3 record in head coach Ryan silverfieldfirst season at the helm of the program. The year ended with a 25-10 victory over Florida Atlantic at the Montgomery Bowl.
TEMPLE OF SCOUTING
• Temple clinched an impressive 41-7 victory over Wagner on Saturday to move up to 2-2 this season. The Owl also defeated Akron, 45-24, on September 11.
• Before the start of the season, the Owls were ranked 10th in the AAC in a media poll. Temple received 46 votes, three more than the USF.
• Last season, Temple finished the season with a record 1-6 overall in a shortened COVID-19 campaign. The Owls’ victory came on October 17, 2020 against USF, 39-37.
INSIDE THE SERIES
• Saturday’s game against Temple will mark the seventh game in the series dating back to 2013 with Memphis, with each team winning three times.
• The teams alternated series victories, with the Tigers winning last year’s game in Memphis, 41-29, at the Liberty Bowl.
• Wide receiver Calvin Austin III had six catches for 184 yards and one score for Memphis in the win, while running back Rodrigues Clark rushed for 106 yards for the Tigers.
ONE OF THE NATION’S ELITE PROGRAMS
• Memphis have recorded 68 wins since 2014, tying the Tigers for the ninth most wins in the country during that streak.
• The 68 wins are the most important among American Athletic Conference schools during this streak.
• The Tigers are also ranked 11th nationally in winning percentages since 2014 with a score of 68-27 (.716).
• Memphis is one of only five FBS programs with at least eight wins each of the past seven seasons (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma).
TIGERS LAND MISSISSIPPI STATE
• Memphis defeated SEC rival Mississippi State, 31-29, on September 18 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
• The Tigers’ victory was the first since a 45-35 victory at Starkville on September 4, 1993 and the first in Memphis against the Bulldogs since October 1, 1988.
• The Tigers won for the fifth time in a row against a Power 5 opponent at home (Ole Miss-2019, UCLA-2017, Kansas-2016, Ole Miss-2015).
MEMPHIS IN AAC OPENERS
• The Tigers are 4-4 in the opening games of the American Athletic Conference since 2013.
• When Memphis opens the AAC game on the road, the team is 1-3.
INCREDIBLE AUSTIN III
• Senior red shirt Calvin Austin III has established itself as one of the NCAA’s best wide receivers and weapons.
• Austin III ranks second in the country for receiving yards (533), second for receiving yards per game (133.2), third for scorers (12.0), fourth for receiving touchdowns (7) , fifth in general purpose yards (133.25) and 16th in receptions per game (6.8).
• He also leads the NCAA with five plays over 40 yards and four plays over 50 yards.
• linebacker JJ Russell leads the country in total tackles per game at 11.5 and ranks fourth in the country in solo tackles per game at 7.5.
• True first year student Greg Rubin is second in the NCAA in assists defended per game at 2.5.
THOMAS THE RESERVOIR
• Freshman in red shirt Brandon thomas has been spectacular for Memphis for four weeks, placing sixth in the NCAA in rushing yards with 494.
• He is also sixth in rushing yards per game (123.5) and 15th in rushing yards per carry (7.06).
• In 2020, Thomas played four games with the Tigers, rushing twice for eight yards.
TRUE FRESHMAN HENIGAN CONTINUES TO SHINE
• For four weeks, real freshman Seth henigan was one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
• Henigan ranks fifth in the NCAA for passing yards per completion (16.25), 14th for passing yards (1,170), 15th for passing yards per game (292.5), 16th for the touchdowns by the pass (9) and 20th for the effectiveness of the pass (167.8).
• Henigan is the top-ranked true freshman in all rankings with quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts this season.
• After 22 of 33 for 417 yards and five touchdowns at Arkansas State on September 11, Henigan was named to Davey O’Brien Award’s Great 8 and mid-season Davey O’Brien Award Watch List.
• Against Nicholls on September 4, Henigan became the first true freshman QB to start a season opener in football history in Memphis.
MEMPHIS CRIES THE PASSAGE OF ELDRIDGE “PETE” MITCHELL
• Former Memphis assistant coach Eldridge “Pete” Mitchell died on September 17 at the age of 87.
• The Murray Armstrong Award 2009, Mitchell came to the University of Memphis in 1970 as an assistant football coach and scout under former head coach Billy J. Murphy and remained on the staff of Fred Pancoast and Richard Williamson until the 1975 season.
• Mitchell was the first black coach in the history of the program.
THE MEMPHIS OFFICE AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION
• For four weeks of the season, Memphis’ offense is among the best in the country.
• The Tigers are 18th in scoring offense (39.0), 22nd in total offense (477.8) and 26th in passing offense (292.5).