Mercer never was thought to be a threat to the University of Memphis Tigers’ goal of at least matching last season’s 10-win victory total. The Naval Academy is another matter.
After last weekend’s 66-14 domination of Mercer in the season opener at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the Tigers play the Midshipmen in Annapolis, Md. today (Sept. 8). They’ve never beaten Navy there.
Here are four key questions for the Tigers:
Can the QB continue his stellar play?
Brady White threw for 358 yards and five touchdowns in his Tigers’ debut. All of that came in one half of action. The Arizona State transfer was comfortable running the offense of UofM head coach, who recruited White while coaching for the Sun Devils. White completed 22 of his 28 attempts and rushed for 20 yards.
Will the defense contain the Navy offense?
The Tigers’ defense held Mercer to less than 100 yards in the first half, with most of the starters spending the second half on the sidelines.
Navy runs the triple option offense and very few schools run this scheme. The Midshipmen historically are been one of the best rushing teams in the nation each season. Last year, Navy gained 314 yards against the UofM and its offensive lineman will be the biggest group that Memphis will face this season.
Will the Tigers’ dominant rushing attack roll on?
The Tigers rushed for 324 yards against Mercer. No running back had more than 9 carries and none ran for over 100 yards. Calvin Austin III, an All-American sprinter, had one carry for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Running backs Patrick Taylor Jr. and Darrell Henderson combined for 159 rushing yards, 137 passing yards and four touchdowns. Taylor took a pass 75 yards for a touchdown.
Will the weather hamper the Tigers’ high-powered offense?
The forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain.
- The game, the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams, will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network.
- The Tigers defeated Navy for the first time last season, winning 30-27.
- Game time: 2:30 CDT.