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FLORIDA ATLANTIC vs MEMPHIS Prediction & Preview



Image licensed from USA Today Sports


The Memphis Tigers play the Florida Atlantic Owls on Wednesday, December 23rd in the Montgomery Bowl at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.

Memphis ended its regular season 7-3 overall, including 5-3 in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers defeated Houston 30-27 in their final game of the regular season when Riley Patterson booted a field goal of 47 yards as time expired. Memphis led Houston 27-6 entering the fourth quarter and had to hold on as the Cougars outscored the Tigers 21-3 over the final 15 minutes of play.

Florida Atlantic finished the season 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Conference USA. The Owls were second in the conference to Marshall. The Owls ended their regular season with two consecutive losses including a 45-31 loss to Southern Mississippi in the final game of the season. Florida Atlantic was held to 326 yards of total offense by Southern Miss and the Owls special teams gave up a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to the Golden Eagles.

(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Wednesday morning.)

Line Movements:

The line has moved somewhat in favor of the visitors in this contest. Memphis opened as a 10-point favorite when the lines came out this week. As the week has gone on, the Tigers now stand as an 8.5 or nine-point favorite as of Wednesday morning depending on the sportsbook you look at. 61 percent of the bets ATS are backing the Tigers giving the points here in the Montgomery Bowl.

The total has edged up slightly for this contest as the week has worn on. After opening at 52 points, the total is now found at either 52.5 or 53 points, depending on the sportsbook. A solid 65 percent of the bets on the total are projecting that this game will end up going over the mark.

Game-time Weather: It has the potential for a soggy night in Montgomery. At kickoff, game-time temperatures will be right about 60 degrees with intermittent clouds. However, by 7 pm CT, there is a 55 percent chance of rain in the forecast through the rest of the game, which could make for slick conditions. Temperatures will only shift a couple of degrees into the high-50s during the game. Winds are expected from the southeast around five miles an hour with the wind gusts kicking up to about seven miles per hour during the game.


Memphis lives and dies through the air

The Memphis Tigers are scoring an average of 31.6 points per game and much of that is due to their aerial attack. Memphis is averaging 310.3 yards per game passing, which is 16th in the nation, and 141.2 yards per game rushing which is 88th. Tigers quarterback Brady White has 3096 yards passing and 28 touchdowns, while being intercepted 9 times. With 523 yards rushing, Rodrigues Clark is the leader for Memphis. Calvin Austin III has 60 receptions for 1025 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead all receivers for the Tigers.

The Tigers are allowing an average of 29.7 points per game while giving up 303.0 yards per game passing and 145.7 yards per game rushing. Opposing offenses are averaging 3.9 yards per carry against the Memphis defense. Defensive back Quindell Johnson has 70 tackles to lead Memphis and defensive lineman Maurice Joseph leads Memphis with seven quarterback sacks. Defensive backs Rodney Owens and Johnson each have three interceptions to lead Memphis.

Injury Report: Memphis does not have any recent injuries on their report with the most recent on December 1 when quarterback Connor Adair was listed out for the season for disciplinary reasons.

Memphis Injury Report:

OUT: QB Connor Adair, DL John Cartwright, WR Coye’ Fairman, RB Cameron Fleming, LB Tim Hart, WR Pop Williams


Florida Atlantic is all about defense

The Florida Atlantic Owls defense ranks 9th in the nation allowing an average of 16.5 points per game, 175.6 yards per game passing and 150.8 yards per game rushing. Opposing offenses are averaging 4.0 yards per carry against FAU defense. The strength of the FAU defense is against the pass and that is the strength of the Memphis offense which should make for an exciting part of the bowl game between the two. FAU linebacker Chase Lasater has 65 tackles to lead the team and linebacker Leighton McCarthy has nine quarterback sacks to lead the defense. Cornerback Teja Young has made two interceptions to lead all FAU defenders.


Florida Atlantic has had little production from its offense, especially through the air, as the Owls are averaging just 140.6 yards passing, while it's running game is slightly better with an average of 185.3 yards. This all adds up to a scoring average of just 20.0 points per game for FAU. Nick Tronti has 759 yards passing and five touchdowns, while being intercepted just twice. Backup quarterback Javion Posey has rushed for 401 yards to lead FAU and has a per carry average of 7.2 yards. The leading wide receiver with 21 receptions for 328 yards is TJ Chase.

Injury Report: Questionable for the Montgomery Bowl for FAU are running backs Malcolm Davidson and BJ Emmons.

Florida Atlantic Injury Report:

OUT: QB Justin Agner, WR Eyin Cole, RB Malcolm Davidson, RB B.J. Emmons, S Quran Hafiz, CB La’Darius Henry, WR Cordell Littlejohn, RB Larry McCammon III, WR John Mitchell, WR Aaron Young

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