Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction Game Preview

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Memphis vs Utah State prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Tuesday, December 27

Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction Game Preview

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Memphis vs Utah State How To Watch

Date: Tuesday, December 27
Game Time: 3:15 ET
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Memphis (6-6), Utah State (6-6)
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Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 5 Things To Know

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

Memphis crashed down the stretch with a four game losing streak against the tough teams on the AAC slate, and it didn’t help to close the regular season with a loss to SMU. Basically, the Tigers beat the bad teams and lost to the good ones. Even so, it’s a fun offensive team, there’s enough explosion to hit a slew of big plays, and now it’s here and as close to intact as reasonable, unlike …

Utah State isn’t exactly a mess, but it’s missing a bunch. It’s going to be very, very thin at the skill spots with the loss of 1,043-yard rusher Calvin Tyler to the NFL world a big hit.

The Aggies started out 1-4, pulled up out of the nosedive to go 5-1 as the offense got sharper and the turnovers slowed, and close with a blowout loss to Boise State. They’re not the Mountain West Champion-level team of last year, but they’re dangerous enough to make this a fight.

Utah State was one of the surprises of the 2021 bowl season, dropping Oregon State with relative ease in a 24-13 LA Bowl win. It won two of its last three bowls, but the program has been hit-or-miss going just 2-3 since 2014.

Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield was on a bit of a hot seat at the end of the year. He’s expected to be back, but it would be a big positive to pull off this win. His Tigers rolled by Florida Atlantic in last year’s Montgomery Bowl, breaking the run of five straight bowl losses and a rough 1-7 run since 2005 for the program. It was supposed to play in the Hawaii Bowl last year, but it got canceled.

– The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl was sacked in 2018 because it was stormy, and apparently there weren’t any indoor football stadiums in the greater Dallas metropolitan area to play in. The bowl gods made up for it with three straight good battles all decided by a touchdown or less. Four of the last five First Responders have been one score games.

CFN Experts Dec 20-27 | CFP NY6, Dec 28-Jan 2

Why Memphis Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

The Tigers know how to throw the ball and should have enough success to push for 250 yards. They’ve got the veteran quarterback in Seth Henigan, they have the weapons to keep the offense moving, and they should be able to own third downs.

This is hardly a rock-solid Memphis team, but it’s able to get the chains moving. On the flip side, Utah State is awful on third converting just 32% of its chances. If this is any sort of a back-and-forth shootout, even a little bit of a blink will be big.

On the other side, the Memphis defense is hardly a rock, but it should be able to hold up. Teams are able to throw against it, but the run defense has held up fine. Utah State is 0-4 when it doesn’t get to 130 yards on the ground, and Memphis has only allowed that many yards four times.

However …

Why Utah State Will Win The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

With all the lost pieces in the Utah State backfield, getting time to work will mean everything. That’s not a problem against a Memphis defense that doesn’t generate a pass rush and fails to produce enough tackles for loss.

It might be ugly at the Utah State skill spots when it comes to depth and veterans, but the offensive line should be okay. The game has to be about blasting away for the ground game, keeping the mistakes to a minimum, and getting a huge performance out of a defense that needs to generate at least two takeaways.

Utah State had a problem this year in turnover margin, but it’s 4-1 when forcing multiple takeaways. Memphis is 1-3 when turning it over two times or more.

But …

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Memphis vs Utah State Prediction, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl History

Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

Utah State just doesn’t have the skill parts to keep up, and it doesn’t have the pass defense to hold on.

Statistically the Aggies are okay defensively overall, but all of the great days from the pass defense came against teams that couldn’t really throw.

They’re 4-0 on the year when allowing fewer than 165 passing yards and 2-6 when giving up more. The teams that couldn’t get to 165? Colorado State, UConn, Air Force, and New Mexico.

Memphis will get to 200 passing yards without a problem. Utah State won’t have the skill parts to keep up.

Memphis vs Utah State SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Prediction, Line

CFN Prediction: Memphis 34, Utah State 23
Line: Memphis -7.5, o/u: 60.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Must See Rating (out of 5): 3
CFN Experts Dec 20-27 | CFP NY6, Dec 28-Jan 2

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl History

Dec. 28, 2021 Air Force 31, Louisville 28
Dec. 26, 2020 Louisiana 31, UTSA 24
Dec. 30, 2019 WKU 23, Western Michigan 20
Dec. 26, 2018 Boise State vs. BC canceled
Dec. 26, 2017 Utah 30, West Virginia 14
Dec. 27, 2016 Army 38, North Texas 31 OT
Dec. 26, 2015 Washington 44 Southern Miss 31
Dec. 26, 2014 Louisiana Tech 35 Illinois 18
Jan. 1, 2014 North Texas 36 UNLV 14
Jan. 1, 2013 Oklahoma State 58 Purdue 14
Jan. 2, 2012 Houston 30 Penn State 14
Jan. 1, 2011 Texas Tech 45 Northwestern 38

2022-2023 Bowl Schedule, Predictions

Story originally appeared on College Football News



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