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Memphis at Tulsa: Top storyline, key matchup, player to watch and who wins
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Memphis at Tulsa: Top storyline, key matchup, player to watch and who wins

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Oct. 5, 2021 video. Golden Hurricane coach talks about Tulsa's Homecoming opponent. Video courtesy/TU Athletics

Memphis at Tulsa

8 p.m. Saturday, H.A. Chapman Stadium

Need-to-know info

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KXBL-99.5

Online/streaming: TuneIn.com

Records: Memphis 3-2, 1-1 AAC; Tulsa 1-4, 0-1

Last meeting: Memphis defeated the Hurricane 42-41 in Tulsa on Oct. 26, 2019. 

All-time series: Memphis leads 19-11

FOX23 James Aydelott's forecast: Clear and Windy, kickoff temp 85°

FOUR DOWNS

1. TOP STORYLINE

Avoiding costly mistakes

Tulsa ranks first in an undesirable category, leading FBS with 97.2 penalty yards per game. The Hurricane has been flagged 50 times in five games, and those penalties have played a key role in the four losses. These are not new struggles: TU had the second-most penalty yardage in 2020 (82.4 yards per game) and the most in 2019 (79.1).

2. KEY MATCHUP

Memphis RBs vs. TU's run defense

The Tigers are averaging close to 5 yards per carry, but fumbles have been a significant problem. Memphis has eight fumbles, with six of those being lost. The Hurricane is giving up an average of 147.2 rushing yards per game, and five opponent runs have gone for at least 30 yards.

3. PLAYER TO WATCH

Jaxon Player

After watching the first half of the Houston game because of a targeting call that came the previous week, Player will be back in action for Saturday's entirety. He has 3.5 tackles for lost yardage, four quarterback hurries, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery this season.

4. WHO WINS AND WHY?

Memphis has the quarterback and running back to take advantage of the struggling Hurricane. TU has a line in the sand, meaning find a way to win this one or risk a calamitous 2021 record. Pride prevails in a close shave.

TU 31, Memphis 30

— Guerin Emig, Tulsa World

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Sports Writer

I have covered college football and college basketball for the Tulsa World since 2012. I spend my spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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