Memphis vs

Florida Atl.

at Montgomery
Wed, Dec 23
4:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 275
Odds: Florida Atl. +8.5, Total: 52.5

Game Analysis

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Memphis (-8.5)  30   Florida Atlantic  19

Florida Atlantic had allowed just 4.5 yards per play and 12.4 points per game (to teams that would combine to average 4.9 yppl to an average FBS defense) before mysteriously giving up 45 points and 8.0 yppl to a sub-par Southern Miss offense with a third-string quarterback that had previously been dreadfully bad. Coach Willie Taggart says it was the worst tackling from his team all season, which is something that can be remedied. FAU now has an average FBS defense, which is good for a CUSA team, and Memphis has an average FBS offense (6.1 yppl against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average team). Memphis has the same quarterback in Brady White that lit it up the last two seasons but the receiving corps isn’t as good and the Tigers couldn’t replace RB Kenny Gainwell, who ran for 1459 yards at 6.3 ypr last season but opted not to play this season (Memphis is 0.6 yprp worse than average running the ball this season). The Tigers are projected to gain 417 yards on 5.7 yards per play in this game.

Projecting FAU’s offense is a bit trickier, as the Owls are much better offensively with Javion Posey at quarterback instead of Nick Tronti, who oddly started the final game of the season despite being much worse than Posey. Tronti was the undisputed starter at the beginning of the season but Posey starting getting snaps in week 10 against Western Kentucky and started the next 3 games. After scoring 62 points in two games in Posey’s first two starts (after just 64 total points in the first 4 games with Tronti at quarterback) the Owls managed just 3 points against a Georgia Southern defense that is really good defending the run. Posey still averaged 7.2 yards per play in that game (107 yards on 15 pass plays and 59 yards on 8 runs) while Tronti managed just 6.1 yards per play after taking over, but coach Taggart decided to start Tronti against Southern Miss with Posey barely playing (1 pass and 2 runs). Taggart is a horrible coach that always makes the wrong decision so I’m guessing that Tronti will start despite averaging just 4.5 yards on 192 quarterback plays (running and passing) while Posey averaged 6.8 yards on 116 quarterback plays, including 443 yards on 50 runs. Although, I would expect Posey to play.

I decided to use Florida Atlantic’s season numbers rather than guessing how many snaps each quarterback will get, and the owls are projected to gain just 292 yards at 4.1 yppl with star RB Malcolm Davidson not playing Davidson averaged 7.1 yards on 42 runs while also hauling in 6 of the 8 passes thrown to him for 96 yards. BJ Emmons is also out, but that’s a positive given his 3.1 ypr average (today’s main back James Charles averages 4.6 ypr). FAU won’t be able to take advantage of Memphis’ sub-par pass defense (0.4 yppp worse than average) and the Owls won’t be able to run against a solid Tigers’ defensive front (0.3 yprp better than average) unless Posey is in the game. Posey’s compensated passing numbers are also better than Tronti’s passing numbers (although with a higher projected interception rate) so there would be no question who the quarterback should be in this game if I were coaching.

The math favors Memphis by 14 points in this game using Florida Atlantic’s season offensive numbers, adjusted for the missing running backs, but only favors the Tigers by 9 points if Posey plays the entire game for FAU, which is unlikely given Taggart’s decision-making history. The value is clearly on Memphis is this game but the Owls apply to a number of good Bowl situations (including a 35-3-2 ATS situation) while Memphis applies to a negative 13-47-2 ATS big bowl favorite situation. I’ll pass.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Memphis
  • Florida Atl.


  • Run Plays 33.2 34.4
  • Run Yards 146.4 143.5
  • YPRP 4.8 4.6


  • Pass Comp 23.2 25.0
  • Pass Att 38.7 39.2
  • Comp % 59.9% 63.8%
  • Pass Yards 310.3 303.1
  • Sacks 2.1 2.6
  • Sack Yards 11.3 15.1
  • Sack % 5.1% 6.2%
  • Pass Plays 40.8 41.8
  • Net Pass Yards 299.0 288.0
  • YPPP 7.3 6.9


  • Total Plays 74.0 76.2
  • Total Yards 456.7 446.6
  • YPPL 6.2 5.9


  • Int 0.9 1.1
  • Int % 2.3% 2.8%
  • Fumbles 0.7 0.7
  • Turnovers 1.6 1.8
  • Points 31.6 29.7
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