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College Football
Preview
Tennessee-Martin at Memphis
When: 4:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 9, 2013
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial, Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis doesn’t need to be reminded that taking FCS opponent Tennessee-Martin lightly is a bad idea when the Tigers host the Skyhawks on Saturday. UT Martin had never defeated an FBS opponent prior to posting a 20-17 victory over Memphis last season courtesy of Cody Sandlin’s 43-yard field goal with four seconds left. The Tigers enter on a four-game losing streak and can’t afford to stumble against the Skyhawks for a second consecutive season.

UT Martin played a major-college program earlier this season and got walloped 63-14 by Boise State. The Skyhawks play in the Ohio Valley Conference and are tied for third in the league race. Memphis’ lone victory was over Arkansas State on Sept. 21 as second-year coach Justin Fuente attempts to resurrect the program. “We’re getting close, and that’s not what we’re aiming for,” Fuente said at his weekly press conference. “When you’re climbing that mountain, it’s a tall mountain and we started at the bottom. We have to find some solace in the fact that it is going to continue to get better.”

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3. LINE: None

ABOUT TENNESSEE-MARTIN (6-3): The Skyhawks feature a dominating linebacker in Tony Bell, who tied the OVC record with 4.5 sacks in last Saturday’s victory over Murray State. Bell, who recorded a career-best 16 tackles in the win, is second on the squad with 61 stops and first with 8.5 sacks. Running back DJ McNeil (954 yards) is having a solid season and quarterback Jarod Neal (1,256 yards, seven touchdowns) played well while Dylan Favre (828 yards, eight touchdowns), the nephew of the legendary Brett Favre, was sidelined with a knee injury.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (1-6):
Defensive end Martin Ifedi is having a superb campaign with 8.5 sacks as the headliner of an improving defense that allows an average of 346.1 yards. The run defense (100.3, sixth nationally) has been particularly stout, and linebacker Tank Jakes also is performing well with 7.5 tackles for loss. Quarterback Paxton Lynch (1,333 yards) battles consistency issues – six interceptions against five touchdowns – and Brandon Hayes (520 yards) and Marquis Warford (302) share the ball-carrying duties.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Tigers have an 8-4-1 advantage in the series, winning five of the seven games played in Memphis.

2. UT Martin WR Jeremy Butler has caught 70 passes for 914 yards and nine touchdowns.

3. Ifedi is tied for fifth in Memphis history with 17 career sacks. The school record is 21 by Tramton Lawless (1996-99).

PREDICTION:
Memphis 27, Tennessee-Martin 23
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Tennessee-Martin 6-3 W2 26.6 25.8 2-2 4-1 2-2 2-0 4-2
Memphis 1-6 L4 20.3 24.1 1-4 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-4
Last Meeting
Tennessee-Martin Memphis
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/1/12 UTM 20 MEM 17 392 181 211 359 202 157
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tennessee-Martin D. Carr 50.0 211 1 2
Memphis J. Karam 42.9 157 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tennessee-Martin J. McNair 15 82 5.5 0
Memphis J. Rhodes 24 106 4.4 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tennessee-Martin Q. Sims 8 70 8.8 1
Memphis M. Rucker 3 45 15.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Tennessee-Martin D. McNeil 1
Memphis J. Rhodes 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tennessee-Martin J. Neal 63.3 1256 7 6
Memphis P. Lynch 59.6 1333 5 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tennessee-Martin D. McNeil 193 954 4.9 6
Memphis B. Hayes 105 520 5.0 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tennessee-Martin J. Butler 70 914 13.1 9
Memphis J. Craig 26 272 10.5 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Tennessee-Martin J. Butler 9
Memphis B. Hayes 5
Quickchart Matchup
Tennessee-Martin Off vs  Memphis Def
423.7 yards
346.7 yards
4.3 yards/rush
3 yards/rush
7.4 yards/attempt
6.6 yards/attempt
Memphis Off vs  Tennessee-Martin Def
341.4 yards
348.7 yards
4 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
5.8 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt