MEMPHIS FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW
While the University of Memphis is more well-known for its work on the basketball court, its football program has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the past several decades. While the program experienced a high-water mark with the drafting of UM defensive lineman Dontari Poe in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the team suffered one of its worst seasons in decades during 2011 and limped to a 2-10 record. Obviously, there's plenty of room for improvement for head coach Larry Porter's team heading into the new season, as the roster is filled with a mix of young and seasoned players ready to take the next step toward Conference USA dominance.
This year's offense will be led by a rather thin quarterbacking group, but the team has high hopes for recent Texas Tech transfer Jacob Karam, who will compete with Taylor Reed for the starting gig. The Tigers are still figuring out their running back situation, as they used multiple runners over the past several years, but the strength of the offense looks to be the wide receiver group. Marcus Rucker and Curtis Johnson provide a strong upperclassmen presence that should help their young corps. On the offensive line, the team will return four of five starters, which should bode well for the Tiger's blocking schemes in the coming season.
The defensive line will certainly have to pick up the slack after the departure of Poe and Frank Trotter. Zach Gholson and Corey Jones are expected to start, with a series of undecided depth positions below them. The Tigers employed a two-linebacker look during 2011, but have a number of redshirted players yearning for playtime this year. Perhaps the deepest part of the Tigers roster is their secondary, which was injury-plagued throughout 2011. Cannon Smith, Akeem Davis and Mitch Huelsing look to be the leaders for a very young defense throughout the 2012 season.
Looking ahead to 2012, the Memphis Tigers have one of the softest schedules in Conference USA yet will still have to contend with a conference that has gotten increasingly stronger in recent years. While the coming season looks to be a rebuilding year of sorts for the University of Memphis, there's plenty of potential for the squad and head coach Larry Porter will likely be looking to make some real noise in the Conference USA standings when it's finally time to kick off the season.
MEMPHIS TIGERS TEAM INFORMATION:
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Stadium: Liberty Bowl Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: UAB Blazers
Mascot: Tom the Tiger
Notable Alumni: DeAngelo Williams
Notable Bowl Games:
The University of Memphis (formerly known as West Tennessee State Normal School and then Memphis State College) first fielded a football team in 1912. The program saw some of its greatest success under coach Billy Murphy, who coached the Tigers from 1958 to 1971. The Tigers went to their first bowl game in 1971 - the Pasadena Bowl, beating San Jose State. Memphis wouldn't play in the post season again until Tommy West took the helm. West has led the Tigers to 4 bowl games in 5 years. Memphis has contributed some talented players to the NFL over the years, including DeAngelo Williams, Isaac Bruce, and Steve Gostkowski.
The Memphis Tigers play their home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Opened in 1965, the Liberty Bowl holds over 62,000 spectators. Visitors to a Memphis game at the Liberty Bowl will be struck by the great sightlines and how close all the seats are to the playing surface. There isn't a bad ticket to a Memphis Tiger game, so buy Memphis football tickets today!
Memphis Tigers Tickets - Basketball
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Memphis Tigers Football Season Preview History
Memphis Tigers Ticket Information:
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