On Friday (10/13/23), Tulane faces Memphis in a crucial AAC matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds for this game and a full preview of the matchup. In addition, find our Tulane Vs. Memphis prediction, which is Memphis +3.5.
Tulane Vs. Memphis Prediction – Week 7 College Football
This Friday night matchup between Tulane and Memphis could be exhilarating. There’s a strong chance the winner of this game makes it to the AAC championship game with the way the rest of their schedules shape up, and we could get a rematch – these are two of the top three teams in odds to win the conference.
Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield’s seat was heating up prior to the season after finishing 6-6 and 7-6 in his prior two campaigns, but now at 4-1, this might be the best team he’s coached. Quarterback Seth Henigan returned to lead a highly efficient offense that ranks 32nd in passing EPA/play, but the defense has been the big development.
Memphis ranks top 30 in overall defensive EPA and success rate and top 25 in both against the pass. That’s a huge evolution as they were outside the top 100 in both last year. Defensive coordinator Matt Barnes has done an excellent job in his second season.
The Tigers will be tested by one of the best quarterbacks in the Group of Five in Tulane’s Michael Pratt. However, Pratt’s injury status is important to monitor. He’s made two starts since returning from a knee injury suffered in Week 1, but his efficiency hasn’t been quite the same.
Tulane will be heavily reliant on Pratt here as they have had no semblance of a run game. The Green Wave lost Tyjae Spears, who is now making plays for the Tennessee Titans, and have cratered to 129th in rushing EPA. That’s a real problem against a Memphis defense that ranks 31st in rushing EPA allowed.
I’m still waiting to see how good this Tulane defense is after they returned just three starters from an excellent group last year. In addition, defensive coordinator Chris Hampton left for Oregon. Former Troy defensive coordinator Shiel Wood has taken the same role.
It’s not hyperbole to say this is the biggest game of Silverfield’s tenure as the Memphis head coach. He has recognized as much by purchasing 2,500 tickets to the game and giving them away to students in an effort to pack the house.
Tulane’s Willie Fritz is an excellent head coach, and both teams will be very prepared coming off a bye week. I’m taking the points with the home underdog here, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Memphis wins outright, especially as Tulane hasn’t beaten them on the road since 1998.
Tulane Vs. Memphis Prediction: Memphis +3.5
Tulane Vs. Memphis Best Odds
Tulane currently sits as 3.5 point road favorites over Memphis after the spread opened at 3 points. The over/under sits at 56.5 points, which is just above the key number of 55. Make sure you have access to multiple sportsbooks as the odds may vary at different shops.
Tulane Vs. Memphis Key Matchups
It’s all about the quarterbacks on Friday night, and I’ll expand on each of them here. Let’s break down how Michael Pratt and Seth Henigan will impact this game.
Michael Pratt Vs. Memphis’s Pass Defense
With Tulane’s struggling run game, their offense rests on the right arm of Michael Pratt. After earning Second Team All AAC honors last year, Pratt opened the season with a near flawless showing against South Alabama. He completed 14 of 15 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns.
A knee injury suffered in that game kept him out of the following two games. Pratt has since returned, but he hasn’t had a huge performance since Week 1. Pratt had just 158 passing yards and averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt against Memphis last year. Tulane needs more than that out of him if they’re going to win this game.
Memphis’s pass defense has been outstanding as they rank top 25 in EPA and success rate against the pass. Cornerback DeAgo Brumfeld is one of nine FBS corners with nine pass defenses, and he leads a highly productive Memphis secondary.
Michael Pratt with a pretty 48-yard touchdown:
— Lincoln Heimbach (@LincHeimbachTSP) September 3, 2023
Seth Henigan Vs. Tulane’s Pass Defense
Seth Henigan now ranks fourth in Memphis’s team history with 8,289 passing yards, and he seems to have increased his accuracy – he’s up to a 78.2% adjusted completion rate, which ranks 25th among 156 qualified passers per PFF.
Henigan had two interceptions against Tulane last year, and it was well deserved as he had a very high 6.1% turnover-worthy play rate. When he faced Tulane in 2021, he threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns in a home win.
Tulane’s defense underwent a lot of change over the summer, and the Green Wave returned just three starters on that end. The pass defense has shown some weaknesses, ranking just 90th in success rate allowed, and Henigan could give them a tough time in this game.
That might be the dagger.
QB Seth Henigan hits WR Demeer Blankumsee for a wide-open, 59-yard touchdown.
28-17 Tigers // 11:16 Q4 pic.twitter.com/y7YEW2W1ie
— Jordan Kaye (@jordankaye_23) September 30, 2023