MEMPHIS – Memphis Tigers Athletic Director Laird Veatch was out at football practice Tuesday morning as the U of M gears up for Central Florida this weekend.

It’s a bit unusual to see Veatch at practice but there is also a lot of noise around the program and head coach Ryan Silverfield after a disappointing October that saw the Tigers lose three straight after a 3 and 1 start to the season.

But maybe one final game against UCF as conference rivals is exactly what this Tiger team needs to turn things around.

Dating back to 2015, Memphis is 8 and 1 in its last nine home games against ranked opponents.

It also had the biggest comeback in school history against UCF, rallying from 21 points down to knock off the Knights 50-49 the last time Central Florida played in Memphis.

With UCF heading to the Big 12 next year, this is the final AAC game between these two longtime rivals.

“The mindset of, OK, here comes the top 25 team. We know the rivalry versus UCF.  I think that’s important,” said Tigers coach Ryan Silverfield.  “I think the guys, right, their emotions, all that stuff. I’m not saying they play any harder. I think the efforts there.  But sometimes it’s just that approach of OK, here we go.  Part of this is playing at home. I think our guys have always come out swinging pretty well.  This is a great opportunity to continue that on display.”