Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Memphis vs Wake Forest
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 22, 2018
Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama



BIRMINGHAM BOWL STORYLINES

1. Memphis and Wake Forest will meet for the first time since 1967 when they face off in the Jared Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. The Tigers finished first in the West Division of the American Athletic Conference but fell in the title game 56-41 to unbeaten UCF. The Demon Deacons were tied for fifth in the ACC Atlantic Division and became bowl-eligible with a 59-7 win over Duke in their regular-season finale.

2. Darrell Henderson is Memphis’ top offensive threat and is one of the best running backs in the nation, recently being named to the Walter Camp All-America first team. The 5-9 junior rushed for 1,909 yards on 214 attempts for an average of 8.9 yards per attempt while scoring 22 touchdowns. Wake Forest allowed 191.3 rushing yards per game during the regular season, ranking 91st in FBS.

3. Wake Forest will be without its top quarterback as freshman Sam Hartman has been declared out. Hartman, who injured his leg in early November against Syracuse, missed the final three regular-season games with sophomore Jamie Newman taking his place. Newman isn’t the downfield passing threat Hartman is and finished the season with 755 passing yards on 101 attempts and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8:3.

TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Memphis -5.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (8-5, 5-3 American Athletic Conference): The Tigers will be looking to alleviate the sting from their setback to UCF in the title game where Memphis had jumped out to a 24-7 lead in the first quarter. They’ll try to do so by scoring a lot of points as they feature an explosive offense that averages 248.8 passing yards and 285.5 rushing yards while scoring 43.6 points per game - the seventh-high mark in the nation. Receiver Damonte Coxie is another player to watch, as the sophomore has a catch in 17 straight games and is just the third in program history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season as he had 66 catches for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season.

ABOUT WAKE FOREST (6-6, 3-5 ACC): The Demon Deacons are in a bowl game for the third year in a row and it took their best performance of the season to get them there in the rout of the Blue Devils on Nov. 24. "Certainly, this year, it was our most complete game," coach Dave Clawson told reporters after the game in which his offense put up a season high in points while the defense surrendered fewer than 17 points for the first time. The defense, which ranks 116th out of 129 teams in total defense (465.3 yards), will need to take its game to another level as it will be challenged early and often against Memphis’ offensive machine.



PREDICTION: Memphis 58, Wake Forest 30
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Memphis 8-5 L1 43.6 31.5 6-1 2-4 1-1 0-0 5-4
Wake Forest 6-6 W1 32.5 33.2 2-5 4-1 2-1 0-0 3-5
Last Meeting
Memphis Wake Forest
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Memphis N/A
Wake Forest N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Memphis N/A
Wake Forest N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Memphis N/A
Wake Forest N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Memphis N/A
Wake Forest N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Memphis B. White 63.3 3125 25 8
Wake Forest S. Hartman 55.3 1984 16 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Memphis D. Henderson 214 1909 8.9 22
Wake Forest C. Carney 176 954 5.4 8
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Memphis D. Coxie 66 1104 16.7 7
Wake Forest G. Dortch 89 1078 12.1 8
Touchdowns Player TD
Memphis D. Henderson 25
Wake Forest G. Dortch 10
Quickchart Matchup
Memphis Memphis Off vs  Wake Forest Wake Forest Def
Memphis 534.3 yards
Wake Forest 464.2 yards
Memphis 6.6 yards/rush
Wake Forest 4.9 yards/rush
Memphis 8.4 yards/attempt
Wake Forest 7.1 yards/attempt
Wake Forest Wake Forest Off vs  Memphis Memphis Def
Wake Forest 445.4 yards
Memphis 420.4 yards
Wake Forest 4.5 yards/rush
Memphis 4.1 yards/rush
Wake Forest 6.8 yards/attempt
Memphis 7.4 yards/attempt