PHILADELPHIA – Since experiencing a quiet season opener, the offense for No. 20 Memphis has lit it up over the last four games. The high-octane Tigers likely will face a challenge Saturday when they visit Temple in American Athletic Conference action.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN2. LINE: Memphis -6
Memphis snuck by Ole Miss in its opener, 15-10, before posting 55, 42, 35 and 52 points over the last four outings, winning each of those games by double digits. The Tigers got past Louisiana Monroe 52-33 last weekend as Brady White threw three touchdown passes and Kenneth Gainwell chipped in 209 rushing yards and two scores. The team currently ranks 17th nationally in scoring average (39.8) with White (71.7 percent completions, 11 touchdowns, three interceptions) enjoying a strong campaign. The offense for Memphis will need to be at its best against Temple, which has allowed 17 points or fewer in each of its four victories.
ABOUT MEMPHIS (5-0, 1-0 American)
White has thrown multiple TD passes in four straight games, but the real star of late has been Gainwell, who is the first Memphis running back to notch three straight 100-yard rushing games as a freshman. His 209 yards against ULM were a school record for a freshman, and he accomplished the feat while nursing a leg injury. "It surprised me a lot. I just prayed all last night and I'm just thankful and grateful for the opportunity," said Gainwell, who has rushed for at least 4.8 yards per carry in all five games.
ABOUT TEMPLE (4-1, 1-0)
The Owls have rebounded from a loss at Buffalo to win versus Georgia Tech (24-2) and at East Carolina (27-17) in their last two games, allowing an average of just 316 yards per game in the two victories. Re'Mahn Davis registered 157 rushing yards and a TD against ECU, while Branden Mack and Isaiah Wright each went over 100 yards receiving, with Wright notching his team-high fourth TD grab of the campaign. Davis leads the team in rushing yards (503) and rushing TDs (four), although Jager Gardner has scored on the ground three times in support of quarterback Anthony Russo (11 TDs, six INTs).
1. Memphis WR Antonio Gibson has scored a touchdown in all four games he has played this season and is averaging 33.7 yards per reception.
2. In the last two games, Temple has held opponents to a combined 5-of-28 on third downs.
3. The Owls committed 12 penalties against ECU and 10 against Georgia Tech.
PREDICTION: Temple 37, Memphis 31