Getting a bit of a slow start on the bowl previews today, but that's what happens when "real life" intervenes and your lone fantasy football squad that's making a playoff appearance cries out for help. Have no fear, we're already up to the second bowl of the season!
Teams: Florida Atlantic & Memphis
Location: The Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Miles Traveled By Each Team: FAU(825), Memphis(395)
Related Cereal: Quaker Oats Oatmeal(FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger was their spokesman in the 80's and 90's after all. Diabeetis!)
Breakdown: FAU heads into the New Orleans Bowl with the #91 ranked rushing offense in the country(126yds/gm, 16TD's), and the #19 ranked pass offense(286yds/gm, 28TD's). Overall, their offense is ranked #45 in the country. On defense, the Owls have the #83 ranked rush defense(179yds/gm, 22TD's), and the #74 ranked pass defense(237yds/gm, 24TD's). Their total defense is ranked #85, and has allowed 52 total touchdowns and an average of 417yds/gm.
On the other side of the ball, Memphis enters the game with the #76 ranked rushing attack(139yds/gm, 13TD's), and the #12 ranked pass offense(307yds/gm, 30TD's). Overall, their offense is ranked #23 in the country. When they're on defense, the Tigers line up with the #110 ranked rush defense(209yds/gm, 26TD's), and the #64 ranked pass defense(229yds/gm, 20TD's). Their total defense is ranked #100, and has allowed 50TD's and an average of 439yds/gm.
Signature Wins: FAU-Troy(For a share of the Sun Belt). Memphis-Southern Miss?
Common Opponents: Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee. FAU defeated Ark. State 34-31, and Memphis lost against them 31-35. FAU beat MTSU 27-14, and Memphis lost 7-21.
Prediction: Both of these teams average about 30 points a game, and they've both scored 44 touchdowns on offense. Neither one's defense is all that great, and I think this game will come down to two things. The first is FAU's quarterback Rusty Smith. He's a QB with a strong arm that can make some great throws. I think that he'll be able to have some success against the Memphis secondary, and will move the ball for FAU. The second, is FAU's ability to take the ball away from their opponents. They're tied for first in the nation in turnover margin after gaining 33 total, and only turning the ball over 14 times. That gives them a +1.58 margin per game, and it should provide them with a few extra scoring chances in this game. FAU beats Memphis, 42-31.