|12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET8:30 PM GMT4:30 AM 北京时间1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST, Nov. 16, 2019|
TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas Attendance: 25,149
No. 18 Memphis carries momentum into Houston
No. 18 Memphis has had enough time to refocus coming off the high of its last game.
The Tigers upset then-No. 14 SMU 54-48 at home on Nov. 2 after ESPN's College GameDay show generated a block party on Beale Street earlier in the day.
The Tigers (8-1, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) play Saturday at struggling Houston (3-6, 1-4) in an important game to keep the Tigers' hopes alive for the AAC West title. Memphis is a half-game behind SMU and Navy, both 5-1, in the West standings, but the Tigers have the tiebreaker edge because they defeated both teams.
"When you get an opportunity to be on this stage, this platform, you have to play at a very high level," Memphis coach Mike Norvell said of the victory over SMU. "You want respect, you have to take it, you've got to go earn it."
The Tigers used another strong offensive performance -- 514 total yards and a record-setting performance by receiver Antonio Gibson -- in the win over SMU.
Gibson set the Memphis record for all-purpose yards (386). He had 159 kickoff-return yards (including a 97-yard return for a touchdown), 130 receiving yards (including a 50-yard touchdown catch) and 97 rushing yards (including a 78-yard touchdown run).
"I'm a wideout guy at heart. I kind of like running back, but I'm my best at receiver," Gibson said.
Houston also had two weeks to prepare for this game after losing at UCF 44-29 on Nov. 2. The Cougars have lost three of their last four games, including home contests against Cincinnati and SMU -- both ranked teams. But they were competitive in those games.
Cincinnati outscored Houston 17-6 in the fourth quarter to win 38-23 on Oct. 12, and SMU withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Cougars to pull out a 34-31 win on Oct. 24.
"The schedule did not set up very well for us this year," said Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, whose team may face six ranked opponents this year having also faced Oklahoma and then-No. 20 Washington State, with Memphis and Navy ahead.
"Hopefully that changes next year. I can assure you I'm going to do a lot of complaining in our meeting. (Athletic director Chris Pezman) has heard it from me a good bit. This schedule sucked.
"We need to make sure we put our guys in a favorable position moving forward. I'm going to be complaining a lot and doing whatever I can to make sure our schedule sets up better. There's going to be certain years where there's nothing you can do about it."
In the loss at UCF, Houston's defense could not hold up after the Cougars took a 17-7 lead -- an ominous sign facing Gibson and prolific quarterback Brady White (2,511 passing yards, 26 touchdowns) on Saturday.
Houston senior running back Mulbah Car rushed for a game-high 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Knights. He ran for 136 yards against SMU.
If Houston loses one more game, it will be out of the bowl picture for the first time since 2012.
"We're underdogs again," Holgorsen said. "I guess I'm not doing a very good job of playing that up and explaining to the guys how much fun it would be to knock off a Top 20 team."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 13, 2019