The long wait for the 2022 Memphis Football season has finally come to a close as the Tigers get ready to travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It’s been nearly 365 days until the boys from Starkville took to the playing field against the team from the 901, yet, both programs understand the magnitude of Saturday’s matchup. Last season’s game between the Tigers and Bulldogs was shrouded in controversy as Memphis came out on top of Mississippi State following a botched missed call on a punt return.
Coming into this season’s matchup between the Tigers and Bulldogs, you have Ryan Silverfield and his team heading to Starkville with a belief in their system that they will beat Mississippi State on Saturday night. Sure, it’s an SEC school, but for the first time in a long time, Memphis has the depth on the depth chart to compete at the highest levels in terms, giving Memphis the swagger needed to win games such as the Saturday night’s battle with Mississippi State.
It won’t be easy, Memphis will have to keep Mississippi State off the board, and the Tigers will also have to keep the Bulldogs from scoring first or building any momentum at Davis Wade Stadium. If Mississippi State comes out Saturday night swinging their sword and gains the momentum early, Coach Silverfield and his Tigers will have to battle both the Bulldogs on the field and 60,000 cowbells in the stands.
However, on the outside looking in, it appears that Memphis has been practicing for the cowbells at Mississippi State by pumping in crowd noise at practice all week to prepare for what they might face on Saturday night in Starkville. I know that Coach Silverfield and his staff at the University of Memphis have done everything they can to prepare the Tigers for what they should encounter on Saturday night.
Heading into Saturday’s game with Mississippi State, the vibe around the program is that the defensive unit for the Tigers will provide the difference makers needed to earn a massive win over the Bulldogs. In talks with the Coaching Staff at the University Of Memphis and Bryan Moss of TigerSportsReport.com, you can sense the excitement surrounding the Memphis defensive unit this season. Some have even gone as far as saying that the 2022 Memphis Football defensive unit is likely to proceed this season as the greatest Memphis defensive unit to ever play for the University. Defensively, Memphis will be tested early by the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but the task at hand on Saturday night is not an impossible one. Contain Will Rodgers and the Mike Leach Air Raid offensive scheme and force the Bulldogs into pressure situations, and the Tigers could be heading back to the 901 with a monster program-defining win.
No question about it, Saturday night on the road in Starkville against Mississippi State is the biggest game to date in Ryan Silverfield’s career at the University Of Memphis. A win over the Bulldogs and Mike Leach would propel Memphis Football to heights under Coach Silverfield that some thought impossible. There’s nothing easy about it, but Memphis has the chance to shock Mississippi State and further cement the program in the tier of the future.
Memphis and Mississippi State will kick off on Saturday night under the lights at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi, with a 6:30 start time that can be seen on ESPNU.