Memphis will look to end a four-game losing streak when it hosts struggling Tulsa in American Athletic Conference play on Thursday.
The Tigers (4-5, 2-4 AAC) are coming off a 35-28 loss to visiting UCF in which the No. 25 Knights broke open a tie game with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to deal Memphis its longest losing streak since 2013.
Tulsa (3-6, 1-4) fell behind 17-3 midway through the second quarter and never recovered in a 27-13 loss at No. 19 Tulane. It was the Golden Hurricane’s fifth defeat in their past six games.
Memphis must win two of its final three games to be bowl-eligible for the ninth straight season, while the Golden Hurricane must win their final three games to qualify for the postseason for the third straight year.
“Nobody’s going to apply a sense of urgency more than our own selves,” Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield said. “They’re ignoring the outside noise. They’re focused on what they need to focus on and all they can focus on is beating Tulsa.”
Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan has thrown two interceptions in each of the past three games to match his six touchdown passes during that stretch.
He went 26-of-39 passing for 284 yards with a touchdown against UCF on Saturday. But the Tigers allowed 427 yards and four touchdown passes, including one by Golden Knights running back Isaiah Bowser.
Tulsa will need to play much better on both sides of the ball against Memphis than it did against Tulane.
Braylon Braxton went 13-of-25 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown in his first start, replacing Davis Brin, who was sidelined with an injured right ankle. Brin’s availability for Thursday will be determined closer to game time, according to Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery.
Tulsa was outgained 482-257 and gave up 357 rushing yards on 53 carries, an average of 6.7 yards per attempt.
“We know we got a short week, so everybody has to be locked in, have the same agenda and goal,” Braxton said. “We just got to go 1-0.”
The Golden Hurricane defeated Memphis 35-29 last year to end a three-game losing streak to the Tigers, who lead the all-time series 19-12.
–Field Level Media