Jumping into Game Four of the season, we come to the Memphis Tigers, bringing a familiar foe back into Oxford from just up the road.
A traditional rivalry game played between two familiar schools begins again after a five-year hiatus.
When they last played, the Rebels had Jevean Sneed at quarterback and opened the season on Labor Day at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. Rebel fans traveled to transform the contest into a Rebel “home game” in Memphis. At the end of the game, Ole Miss dominated 45-14 on their way to back-to-back Cotton Bowl wins.
Since then, Memphis has left Conference USA and joined the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers are led by Coach Justin Fuente.
Last season, the Tigers faced the third toughest schedule in the American Athletic Conference, squaring off against seven teams that appeared in bowl games. At the close of the 2013 campaign, the Tigers had a overall record of 3-9.
This season, Memphis’ defense is anchored by Martin Ifedi, a senior defense end.
For Rebel fans, the Tigers might look like a easy game, but don’t discount the impact of two rivals so closely situated. The Tigers are sure to bring their A-game to Oxford. The prospect of taking down an SEC team with national aspirations is a powerful motivator for athletes from the same general area of the South.
On the other hand, the Tigers should be challenged mightily by the breakneck pace that Coach Hugh Freeze employs with the Rebel offense and fatigue may be a heavy factor.
Our HottyToddy.com prediction is that by halftime, the Ole Miss starters will have been pulled to be rested for the matchup with Alabama for SEC dominance on October 4.
Ole Miss and Memphis will meet at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium on September 27, the Rebels’ second home game of 2014.
Tomorrow, we will look at the Alabama Crimson Tide rolling into Oxford.
– Adam Brown, sports editor, HottyToddy.com, email@example.com
Rebel Home Game Features Regional Rival, Memphis Tigers
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