2010 Outlook For The Memphis Tigers


Head Coach Tommy West of The Memphis Tigers had been ultimately dismissed after recorded only two wins in 2010. New coach, Larry Porter had accepted the position as well as a way to make its program work. There is an influx of transfers available to play for the Tigers and could make a swift improvement. Porter has had fame for being a top recruiter and getting two rewards from Rivals.com for his recruiting ability.


A spread offense has been utilized and will likely make the switch to a more pro style offense under first year offensive coordinator Eric Price. The Tigers used a strong rushing attack in 09′ that was led by star running back Curtis Steele. He gained over 1200 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in just nine games. DeAngelo Williams and Steele have been extremely productive in the backfield the past five years for Memphis. Possible candidates to replace Steele are Arkansas transfer Darcel Johnson and sophomore Marcus Hightower. Lance Smith would have moved into the starting role had it not been for a broken leg suffered in spring practice. The coaching staff is hopeful that he will be available in the opener. Tyler Bass and Cannon Smith will battle it out to start at quarterback for the Tigers. Smith sat out a year after transferring from Miami, while Bass saw limited action last season attempting just 81 passes before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. Who the starter will be throwing to is a bit of an unknown. Cam Baker caught 20 passes last season, but only averaged a little over 7 yards/catch. Marcus Rucker is a tall wide out that uses his body well in the red zone. Miami transfer Jermaine McKenzie will add speed to the position and should be eager to get on the field after sitting out his required year. The offensive line returns all 5 starters. There might not be as much talent running behind the line this year, but this unit should be strong.


If Memphis is going to make any strides in 2010 the defense must improve on a game by game basis. This unit was one of the worst in the nation as a whole last year, allowing 35 points/game and over 450 yards/game. They gave up at least 30 points in their last six games, all losses. Jay Hopson heads up the defense for the first time this year after a brief stint coaching the linebackers at Michigan. The defensive line has enough returning talent to vastly improve on the 174 yards allowed rushing/game a season ago. DE Winston Bowens finished third on the team in tackles and DT Dontari Poe is a space eater up front. LB Jamon Hughes recorded 87 stops as a junior including 5.5 for loss. He will man the middle of the defense and be one of the leaders. Cornerback is an area that Hopson should feel fairly good about. DA Griffin enters his third year as a starter and has earned all conference accolades before. His six pass breakups led the Tigers in 2009. Darius Davis will likely get the start at the other corner position and had 54 tackles. K/P Matt Reagan graduated after handling both duties last season. A 38.8 net average punting led the NCAA.


The Tigers open with Mississippi State on the road in a series that they have lost ten straight. Conference USA play begins the following week with yet another road trip to East Carolina. UTEP will have revenge on the mind September 25th as the Miners were one of Memphis’s two wins last year. Four of their first six games are on the road and two of their home games late in the season are against conference favorite Houston and Tennessee. Yet another 2-10 season is in store for Memphis.


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