Despite losing Brady White this offseason, Memphis heads into year two of the Ryan Silverfield era with a bowl win under their belt and one of the best-recruiting classes in program history. Sure, losing Brady White sucks for the Tigers, but Memphis returns sixteen guys from last season and is expected to compete for another AAC title this season. Yeah, they’ll have to beat Cincinnati at some point and maybe UCF to get to that point, but Coach Silverfield has his Tigers ready to take the 2021 season by the horns and bring another AAC Championship trophy home to Memphis.
Last season, Memphis was plagued by the Covid bug after missing close to a month and a half without playing a football game. Despite that, Memphis finished the season 8-3 overall with wins over UCF, Navy, and Houston, plus a Montgomery Bowl win over Florida Atlantic.
On the offensive side of the ball, Memphis returns seven guys from last season. Calvin Austin, Javon Ivory in the receiving core, Sean Sykes at Tight End, and Rodrigues Clark in the backfield all will be crucial members of the 2021 Memphis offensive unit. Not to mention, Memphis returns Matt Dale, Dylan Parham, and Isaac Ellis on the offensive line, which will protect whoever the quarterback might be. As of July 21st, Head Coach Ryan Silverfield has yet to name the replacement for Brady White, but many around the program believe Grant Gunnell will get the nod to start the season.
As far as the defense goes? Memphis is stacked, and to be honest, they’re one of the best units in the entire AAC. Led by their secondary, Memphis has and will continue to create a culture of being a ” No Fly Zone” led by the core group of Rodney Owens, Quindell Johnson, Jacobi Francis, Tyrez Lindsey, and La’Andre Thomas. In the middle part of the Tigers brick wall defense, you will find JJ Russell and Thomas Pickens leading the way for the linebacker core, holding down the fort on the defensive line Memphis will turn to Joseph Morris.
Overall, year two of the Ryan Silverfield era could be a special one for the folks in the 901 as Memphis comes into the season as an underdog with nobody believing in the Tigers. It’s a place that Coach Silverfield and these Tigers know all so well as it’s always been, Memphis vs. Errrbody.
Memphis will open their season on September 4th by welcoming Nicholls State to the Liberty Bowl.