No. 18 Memphis looks for 4th straight Saturday at Houston

Memphis' Antonio Gibson runs 78 yards for a touchdown against SMU during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. Memphis won 54-48. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

No. 18 Memphis (8-1, 4-1 AAC, No. 18 CFP) at Houston (3-6, 1-4), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN2).

Line: Memphis by 10.

Series record: Houston leads 15-12.

What’s at Stake?

The Tigers look for their fourth straight win as they chase first-place SMU and second-place Navy for the lead in the West Division of the American Athletic Conference.

Key Matchup

Memphis WR Antonio Gibson vs. Houston’s pass defense. Gibson ran for 97 yards and a touchdown and had a career-high 130 yards receiving against SMU for his second 100-yard receiving game of the season in Memphis’s last game. The Cougars have struggled against the pass and are ranked 122nd in the country by allowing 289.6 yards passing a game.

Players to Watch

Memphis: RB Kenny Gainwell. The freshman ranks eighth in the nation and first in the American with 1,067 yards rushing. He has six 100-yard rushing games this season including a season-high 209 yards rushing against Louisiana-Monroe.

Houston: DB Grant Stuard. The junior is sixth in the American with eight tackles a game and he’s tied for second in the league in solo tackles with 50. Stuard has three games this season with at least 10 tackles.

Facts & Figures

Memphis has won three in a row against Houston. … The Tigers have 53 wins since 2014, ninth-most in FBS and lead AAC in that span. … Memphis coach Mike Norvell is 34-15 in his fourth season and tied Billy J. Murphy as fastest Memphis coach to 34 career wins in 48 games. … The Cougars are 5-3 against at home against ranked opponents since 2014. … Houston’s last win over a ranked opponent came in a 57-36 win over No. 17 USF last season. … Houston has had five different players with at least one 100-yard rushing game this season. … K Dalton Witherspoon has made his last 10 field-goal attempts and is 15 of 18 this season. … WR Marquez Stevenson is tied for first in the nation with four receptions for 60 yards or more this season. … Houston is third in the nation with four blocked kicks this season with three of those blocks coming on punts.

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