MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Last year’s two wins against Cincinnati don’t mean a thing come Saturday for the Memphis Tigers football team. Let’s take a look forward to what could be a historic game.
Tigers' head coach Ryan Silverfield starts it off saying, “I mean let’s call it what it is. I mean we have a chance to make history.”
The last time Memphis beat a top 10 team, was in 1996, upsetting Peyton Manning and the Tennessee Vols at the Liberty Bowl 21-17.
This weekend, the Tigers have a chance to put another one in the record books as they take on 7th ranked Cincinnati for their 1st top 10 game since 2018 against UCF. The Tigers beat Cincy twice last year, once in the AAC Championship game.
Silverfield says, “If you’re them, it’s probably up in their weight room, circled with the Memphis logo on there because I’m sure their kids are pissed off.”
U of M quarterback Brady White has some confidence knowing he’s seen the Cincy defense before. This year, they’re rated the best in the AAC holding opponents to just more than 300 yards per game.
“All around a really good defense.” White said, "And they know how to work together. And it can give offenses trouble, but that’s what I love about it. It presents a challenge, and I think we’re going to be ready to go.
Cincy’s quarterback presents a challenge too, that is Junior Desmond Ridder, a true-dual threat QB unlike any the Tigers have seen this year. Ridder rushed for 179 yards last week against SMU.
Tigers noseguard O’Bryan Goodson is well aware of Ridder’s rocketing runs.
“When he gets around the edge,” Goodson says, “and he tries to get open where he can make plays, that’s where he’s good so we keep him inside the box, inside the pocket, I think it’s ours.”
And if it goes in Memphis' favor, they keep alive their chances of making it to another AAC Championship Title game. They’ll have to do it in a nearly empty Nippert Stadium, with only players and coaches family members allowed in the stands.
Kickoff is Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN.