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What To Expect: Memphis Offense vs Cincinnati Defense

Fire, just lots and lots of fire.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The simple fact of the matter is that until proven otherwise I just assume that whatever defense the Bearcats play will wind up being torched by whatever offense they play. That is the case today as well because Memphis has two things that should give every Bearcat fan pause for concern, a competent offensive line and a decent quarterback.

The Tigers are probably going to be without Brandon Hayes who barely played in the second half against Ole Miss and Dorland Dorceus who is out for the rest of the year. That means the Tigers will be turning to true freshman Jarvis Cooper, a 6'2" 250 running back who everyone but Memphis recruited to play defensive end. That's a big, physical running back to go with the Tigers big and physical offensive line. Physical play has obviously been a real problem for the Bearcats run defense. They will get another test in that today. If they pass that test they could (but probably won't) get themselves into favorable matchups with the Tigers passing game.

If the Bearcats secondary is capable of getting a win this would probably be the day to do it. I really like Paxton Lynch and think that he will eventually get the Tigers back to a bowl game. But he has no real weapons on the perimeter outside of Keiwone Malone and Alan Cross. They are really one dimensional in the passing game and because of that the Tigers are really struggling in situations when they have to pass. They are currently ranked 117th in passing downs S&P. If the Bearcats were ever going to have a feel good game on defense this would be it.