Both Memphis of the AAC and Utah State of the Mountain West had disappointing 6-6 seasons but one will finish with some momentum as they meet in the First Responder Bowl from Dallas on Tuesday with the Tigers as solid favorites on the NCAAF odds.
How to Bet Memphis vs. Utah State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 3:15 PM ET
- Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAF Lines: Memphis -7.5 (total 61.5)
It will be the eighth meeting between the two schools and the first since 1977. Memphis leads the all-time series 4-3. Neither has played in this bowl previously.
Why Bet on Memphis?
The Tigers (6-6) closed the regular season with a 34-31 loss at SMU on the same field in which this bowl game will be played. Trailing 34-23 with 6:13 left in the game, the Tigers cut the lead to 34-31 on a Seth Henigan touchdown pass to Roc Taylor with 2:36 remaining. On the ensuing Mustangs’ possession, the Memphis defense forced a 3-and-out, giving the ball back to the Tigers’ offense with just 2:13 left in the contest. The Tigers marched to the SMU 9-yard line, but Henigan’s pass into the endzone with six seconds remaining was intercepted, ending the game at 34-31.
Henigan completed 27-of-44 passes for 287 yards, one touchdown and that one pick, while running back Asa Martin had 110 total yards and a rushing score. Henigan extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 23 games – every start of his career. He now ranks fifth all-time at Memphis in attempts (809), completions (500), yards (6,597) and touchdown passes (44). Additionally, Henigan’s numbers for attempts (416), completions (275) and passing yards (3,275) rank ninth, fourth and seventh, respectively, for a single season at Memphis.
Junior tight end Caden Prieskorn moved up to second on Memphis’ single-season receiving yards list for tight ends with his third catch of the day. He ended the game with four catches for 45 yards and now ranks behind only Sean Dykes’ 2021 season total (657) with 593 yards.
Defensive back Quindell Johnson and kicker Chris Howard were named to the All-AAC First Team. Johnson led the AAC and ranked 16th in the NCAA with four interceptions. He also had 73 tackles, five tackles for loss, four pass breakups, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles for the Tigers. Johnson’s four picks are the most for any Tiger since 2017, while his 225 career solo tackles rank sixth all-time in program history. Howard made 20-of-23 field goals and 45-of-47 extra point attempts. He led the AAC in scoring per game (8.8) and total points scored (105).
Memphis notched just one victory against an opponent with a winning record during a regular season distinguished by a series of close losses in conference play. Four of those five defeats came against American competition by a single possession.
This is the Tigers’ ninth consecutive year qualifying for a bowl game, which is tied for the ninth-best active streak in the nation and the best among all non-Power 5 programs.
Why Bet on Utah State?
After going 11-3 and winning the Mountain West in 2021, the Aggies (6-6) beat Connecticut in the season opener and then dropped four in a row, including losses to Weber State and UNLV. But they closed with five wins in seven games to finish third in the Mountain Division. Star QB Logan Bonner’s season was over in September when he suffered a foot injury against UNLV.
Cooper Legas stepped in for Bonner and went 5-2 as the Aggies starter but threw multiple interceptions in three of those starts. USU lost its regular-season finale 42-23 to Boise State. Utah State finished with 468 yards of total offense – 40 more than Boise State – and had nine more first downs (24-15). The Aggies also possessed the ball for more than 34 minutes on the day.
Running back Calvin Tyler rushed for 65 yards on 18 carries to give him 1,043 yards in his career, becoming just the 16th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. He was named second-team All-Mountain West, just the second Aggie running back to earn first- or second-team all-MW honors, as Darwin Thompson was also named to the second team in 2018. However, Tyler opted out of this game to prepare for the draft.
Of Utah State’s six wins this year, five were comeback victories. Utah State is playing in its 10th bowl game in the last 12 years after playing in six bowl games in its first 119 years. This will be USU’s second-straight bowl game under current head coach Blake Anderson as USU posted a 24-13 win against Oregon State in the 2021 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl after winning its first-ever Mountain West championship.
The Aggies are 6-9 in their previous 15 bowl games as they played in five straight bowl games from 2011-15 and won three-straight bowls from 2012-14, both of which are school records.
- Tigers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
- Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Over is 9-4 in Tigers last 13 games overall.
- Under is 6-1 in Aggies last 7 non-conference games.
- Memphis 33, Utah State 27