USF vs. Memphis, 7, 98.7-FM, 1010-AM
The Bulls (2-6, 2-2 American Athletic Conference), who haven't played since a 35-23 loss at Houston on Halloween, have lost their past six games after a bye week. USF holds a 3-2 series lead on the Tigers (2-6, 0-4), but this is the first meeting in five years. After weeks of nursing a hamstring injury, Bulls senior RB Marcus Shaw is at full strength. The Memphis defense, 14th in Division I-A against the run (108.3 yards per game), has held five foes to 108 or fewer rushing yards. The Tigers, 16th in total defense (338.6 ypg), face a USF offense ranked 121st (256.0 ypg).
Watch out for … Freshman Mike White (right) is coming off the best passing debut ever, 311 yards, by a Bulls quarterback. Unlike Houston, Memphis' staff had the luxury of studying game video of White, who might be playing on a wet field. Like White, Tigers freshman Paxton Lynch (6 feet 6, 225 pounds) is a pure passer (1,522 yards, six TDs, seven interceptions), completing 60.3 percent of his throws. Memphis RB Brandon Hayes, built in the Emmitt Smith mold (5-8, 198), has 625 yards, averaging 4.7 yards a carry. Tigers junior DE Martin Ifedi, who operates mainly out of a three-man front, has 17 career sacks.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer