MEMPHIS – If you’re a Tiger fan, this is probably not the place to kick off a season.

In Starkville… on the road… against an SEC team.

Numbers don’t lie.

The Tigers haven’t won at Davis Wade Stadium since 1993 and they are 1 and 19 in their last 20 SEC road games.

Those numbers, probably a big reason the Tigers are more than two touchdown underdogs.

But how many people really gave the U of M much of a chance to beat the Bulldogs last year?

They did… to snap a 12-game losing streak in the series.

So don’t bring up the point spread to a Tiger team that needs no motivation in looking to buck those odds… again.

“As far as motivation factor, that doesn’t really motivate me. I have self-motivation and trying to just prove myself right, not prove others wrong,” said Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan.  “It doesn’t matter. Outside opinions don’t really matter. I’m just playing for myself and for my team and for our fans.”

“Double digits. That’s tough.  SEC team. I mean, I expect it.  We group of five. I don’t pay attention to politics, bro. It’s all going on between on four lines,” said Tigers receiver Eddie Lewis.  “I feel dog is going to speak. So that’s all I really care about, honestly.  I’m pretty sure my teammates feel the same way.”

Don’t even mention point spreads to third year state coach Mike Leach.

He knows first hand that those numbers mean nothing come kickoff and knows his team owed Memphis much more respect than they gave the U of M a season ago.

“We had some guys who owed Memphis more respect than they got,” Leach said.  “They have most of their guys back too.  I think they have good speed.  They’ve got some big guys.  Their quarterback had an impressive first year and I’m sure he’s better than he was last year.”