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College Football
Preview
Brigham Young vs Memphis
When: 2:00 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida

MIAMI BEACH BOWL STORYLINES

1. BYU’s explosive offense will get a stiff test from Memphis' defense, which ranks fifth nationally with an average of 17.1 points allowed. The Tigers did not surrender more than 20 points in any of their victories and ripped through the final six contests yielding 13.3 – all wins. The Cougars put up at least 42 points in each of their final three games.

2. Memphis and BYU had a trio of common opponents as the Cougars secured wins over Middle Tennessee, Connecticut and Houston. The Tigers were edged 28-24 by Houston on Oct. 11 but closed the regular season by ripping UConn 41-10 and eased past Middle Tennessee back in September. Memphis turned over the ball five times in the loss to Houston but suffered its only other two setbacks on the road against nationally ranked teams UCLA and Ole Miss.

3. Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch set a school record with 28 touchdowns (18 passing, 10 rushing) and did not throw an interception during the six-game winning streak that closed the regular season. The Cougars endured a four-game slide and waved goodbye to their hopes of a New Year’s Six bowl when Christian Stewart took over under center for injured starter Taysom Hill and lost his first four starts. Stewart picked up his play in four wins closing the season, recording 14 TD passes and one interception in that span.

TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: N/A.

ABOUT BYU (8-4): The Cougars are participating in their 10th straight bowl game and are coming in hot after Stewart’s 433-yard, five-TD performance in a win at California. BYU started the season with a dominant rushing attack led by Hill, whose dual-threat abilities resulted in 975 passing yards and 460 on the ground in his first four games, but had to rebuild around a more traditional pocket passer in Stewart. The Cougars also picked things up on the other side of the ball, limiting their last four opponents to an average of 16.3 points after surrendering 40.8 during the mid-season skid.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (9-3, 7-1 American): The Tigers’ hot finish left them on top of the AAC and sent the team to its first bowl since 2008. “It’s a big deal,” senior cornerback Bobby McCain told reporters. “It’s big for the city, it’s big for the team and the family of brothers that we have here. To have a 10-win season is something that’s never been done before. Now we just have to go 1-0 one more time and end it with a bang.” McCain is part of a secondary that recorded 14 interceptions during the regular season and held opposing passers to an average of 218 yards.

PREDICTION: Memphis 28, BYU 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Brigham Young 8-4 W4 36.2 25.2 4-2 4-2 5-3 1-0 0-0
Memphis 9-3 W6 34.7 17.1 5-1 4-2 1-1 0-0 7-1
Last Meeting
Brigham Young Memphis
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Brigham Young N/A
Memphis N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Brigham Young N/A
Memphis N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Brigham Young N/A
Memphis N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Brigham Young N/A
Memphis N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Brigham Young C. Stewart 58.5 2262 22 6
Memphis P. Lynch 64.0 2725 18 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Brigham Young J. Williams 110 515 4.7 4
Memphis B. Hayes 173 902 5.2 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Brigham Young M. Mathews 64 840 13.1 8
Memphis K. Malone 39 480 12.3 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Brigham Young T. Hill 8
Memphis P. Lynch 10
Quickchart Matchup
Brigham Young Off vs  Memphis Def
462.8 yards
343.2 yards
4.4 yards/rush
3.6 yards/rush
7.6 yards/attempt
5.9 yards/attempt
Memphis Off vs  Brigham Young Def
422.7 yards
384.2 yards
4.2 yards/rush
3.3 yards/rush
7.4 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt