Mustangs Head To Memphis Looking For First AAC Win
Oct. 16, 2013
SMU Mustangs (1-4, 0-1 AAC) at Memphis Tigers (1-4, 0-2 AAC)
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 11 a.m. CT
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (59,308) - Memphis, Tennessee
ESPN Regional/SMU Radio Network
Setting The Scene
• SMU and Memphis will both be looking for their first American Athletic Conference victory when the two teams meet at 11 a.m. CT Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in the ESPN Regional American Game of the Week.
• The Mustangs are tackling a tough slate in 2013 as 11 of their 12 opponents are from BCS-AQ conferences. Its lone non-AQ opponent was ranked No. 3 in the FCS polls at game time. Through the games of Oct. 12, SMU’s first five opponents have a combined record of 22-7.
• After finishing 2012 with a +9 turnover margin (10th in the nation), SMU has struggled with turnovers in 2013 and is -6 through five games (115th nationally).
• The Run ‘n’ Raid is off to a great start as SMU QB Garrett Gilbert ranks second in the nation in completions per game (34.0), third in passing yards (355 ypg) and fifth total offense (370.6), and Mustang receivers Jeremy Johnson and Darius Joseph are first (10.4) and third (9.8), respectively, in catches per game nationally, while Keenan Holman rates fifth in the AAC with 5.2 grabs per game.
• Gilbert started the season completing 35+ passes in each of SMU’s first three games, becoming the only FBS player in the BCS era (since 1998) to complete at least 35 passes in each of his team’s first three games of a season. Gilbert is coming off arguably the best game of his career, breaking five single-game school records against Rutgers. Gilbert completed 45 of 70 passes for 484 yards and five touchdowns and added a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Scarlet Knights. He finished the day with school records in attempts, completions, passing yards, total offense and touchdowns responsible for, earning American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his play.
• Over the past 33 games, SMU is 16-1 when scoring first but 0-16 when the opponent scores first.
About The Tigers
• While sitting at just 1-4, Memphis has played great defense in 2013, and ranks 11th nationally in total defense, allowing just 305.2 yards per game. Memphis’ rushing defense ranks 12th nationally, giving up 91.0 yards per game, and is led by defensive end Martin Ifedi, who is third in the nation in sacks (1.3 per game) and fourth in tackles for loss (2.0 per game).
• Saturday’s game is the sixth meeting between SMU and Memphis, with the Tigers holding a slim 3-2 series edge. Memphis won the first three games in the series, including a triple overtime win in 2007, but SMU has won the last two, in 2011 and 2012, by a combined score of 86-13.
• June Jones is in his sixth season at the SMU helm. His SMU record is 32-38 and his career mark is now 108-79. Jones led SMU to back-to-back Conference USA Western Division Co-Championships in 2009 and 2010, and has led the Mustangs to four straight bowl berths. Jones went 76-41 in nine seasons at Hawaii, leading the Warriors to the Allstate Sugar Bowl following the 2007 season. Prior to heading to Hawaii, Jones had a 12-year coaching career in the NFL, including head coaching stops at Atlanta and San Diego.
• Justin Fuente is in his second season at the Memphis helm, where he has compiled a 5-12 record. Fuente is familiar with SMU, though, as he served as an assistant at TCU from 2007-11.
• ESPN Regional will air the game in syndication, with Eamon McAnaney (play by play), Anthony Becht (analyst) and Brooke Weisbrod (sideline reporter) calling the game. In DFW, the game will air on KTXD Channel 47.
• SMU-Memphis will air in the following markets on the listed channel: New York (SNY), Philadelphia (WPVI), Dallas-Ft. Worth (KTXD), Washington, D.C. (MASN), Houston (KUBE-DT4), Denver (ALTITUDE), Orlando-Daytona Beach (WKCF), Pittsburgh (WTAE-DT2), Baltimore (MASN), Hartford-New Haven (SNY-CT), Columbus (WWHO), Cincinnati (EKRC), San Antonio (KCWX-DT2), Norfolk-Newport News (MASN), Louisville (WHAS...-DT2), Memphis (Comcast Channel 30), New Orleans (COX-NO), Buffalo (SNY), Richmond (MASN), Albany (SNY), Dayton (WBDT), Roanoke-Lynchburg (MASN), Rochester (SNY), Syracuse (SNY), Chattanooga (WRCB), Waco-Temple-Bryan (KCEN-DT2), Colorado Springs-Pueblo (ALTITUDE), Tyler-Longview (KYTX-DT3), Youngstown (WYTV), Salisbury (MASN), Binghamton (SNY), Abilene-Sweetwater (KTXS), Utica (SNY), Elmira (SNY), Watertown (SNY), Harrisonburg (MASN), Charlottesville (MASN), Grand Junction (ALTITUDE) & Cheyenne (ALTITUDE).
• Rich Phillips (PBP), Scott Garner (analyst) and Steve Lansdale (sidelines) will call the action on KTCK 1310 AM in Dallas beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT.