Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic Montgomery Bowl | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 22, 2020

Memphis of the American Athletic Conference and Florida Atlantic of Conference USA meet in the second bowl game of Wednesday as they square off in the Montgomery Bowl to conclude their seasons. The Tigers are solid NCAAF favorites in the first-ever iteration of this bowl.

How to Bet Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
  • When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Ala.
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Memphis -8 (total 50)
Series History

The two programs are meeting for the second time. FAU won the only previous meeting 44-27 in the 2007 New Orleans Bowl.  It’s the first time in this bowl for each because it’s the first year of it. The Montgomery Bowl was announced in late October 2020, with organizers indicating that it was a substitute of the Fenway Bowl for this season only.

Why Bet on Memphis? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Tigers (7-3) closed the regular season on Dec. 12 with a 30-27 win over Houston. Senior kicker Riley Patterson made a 47-yard field goal as time expired. The walk-off kick was Patterson’s first at any level and his third field goal of the game. He also made kicks of 34 and 49 yards.

The victory gave Memphis 15 consecutive home wins, the fifth-longest active streak in the FBS. The Tigers have gone undefeated at home for two consecutive seasons for the first time in program history, and finish the regular season 4-1 in one-score games. Three of their six home games this season were won on their final offensive possession.

Head coach Ryan Silverfield capped his first regular-season 7-3 and became the first head coach in program history to turn in a perfect home record in his first season.

Senior QB Brady White now owns the school record for career passing yard with 10,406. He surpassed Danny Wimprine (2001-04) with a 40-yard pass to tight end Sean Dykes early in the second quarter. White completed 22 of his 35 pass attempts against Houston for 246 yards and two touchdowns.  White also holds the program record for career passing touchdowns (87) and wins as a starting quarterback (27), both records he set earlier this season.

Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III and defensive lineman O’Bryan Goodson were 2020 first-team all-conference selections.  The former walk-on Austin ended the regular season with 1,025 receiving yards, becoming the fourth player in school history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He ranks fifth among all FBS players with 10 receiving touchdowns this season and ninth in total receiving yards.

Memphis is in search of its first bowl victory since a 55-48 win over BYU in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl. The Tigers have dropped five consecutive bowl games since, including two by three points or less.

Why Bet on Florida Atlantic? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

FAU (5-3) last played on Dec. 10 and lost to Southern Miss 45-31. The Golden Eagles scored with just seconds remaining in the first half to break a 17-17 tie, and got the ball back to start the second, getting into the end zone again to go up 14. The Owls twice got it to within a score, but couldn’t equalize. The first time, an immediate USM 100-yard kickoff was the answer; in the fourth, the Golden Eagles squeezed out over five minutes on a 90-yard drive that virtually clinched it.

Redshirt junior QB Nick Tronti completed 17-of-33 passes for 162 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. QB woes have plagued FAU for much of the year. Tronti threw a pick on FAU’s final drive of the game on a desperation 2nd-and-15.

Running back Malcolm Davidson and B.J. Emmons have been ruled out for the bowl. Davidson injured his foot during the Owls’ December 5 game against Western Kentucky, and as a result he ends his sophomore season comes with 298 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries. Emmons has not appeared in a game since FAU’s win over UMass back on November 20. In four games, he rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries.

Redshirt senior defensive end Leighton McCarthy is an All-C-USA Second Team member, while LaJohntay Wester earned two separate slots on the All-Freshman Team, at both wide receiver and punt returner. McCarthy ranks No. 1 in C-USA, and tied for fourth nationally in all of FBS, with 9.0 sacks, and also leads C-USA with 12.5 tackles for loss (16th nationally).

FAU is a perfect 4-0 in bowl appearances. The Owls appeared in their first bowl game in 2007, defeating Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl. They have since won the Motor City bowl in 2008 and the Boca Raton Bowl twice in 2017 and 2019.

Game Trends
  • Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. CUSA.
  • Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Tigers are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Tigers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
  • Owls are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
  • Owls are 7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
Expert Prediction
  • Memphis 30, Florida Atlantic 24

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