Memphis vs UCLA – the four ‘PAWS’

newsroom@tri-statedefender.com | 9/5/2014, 5:20 p.m.
Possibilities: It is highly possible that UCLA will try to make their home opener in the Rose Bowl a statement game where they silence critics that question if their pre-season hype was justified. UCLA is coming off its first 10-win season in many years and could very well attempt to run up the score on the Tigers in this rebound game.  On the other hand, it is a possibility that the Tigers could pull off the upset against UCLA. Who knows? Memphis has upset a highly-ranked California team before, namely a No. 16-ranked USC squad back in 1991.   Assumptions:  Even though UCLA struggled against Virginia on the road last Saturday in a 28-20 victory, their defense scored 21 of those 28 points. It is safe to assume that even though they struggled last week, their defense will get going facing a formidable but untested to date Tiger defense.   Weaknesses:  Fuente voiced his displeasure about the amount of times the Tigers fumbled the ball against APSU. The Tigers were very loose with the ball, committing four fumbles. If the Tigers are not more focused and careful with the ball against the opportunistic Bruins, then…well, you get the point.   Strengths: The Tigers’ defense was stingy to say the least Saturday allowing only 146 yards, most of which came in the later moments of the game. If the Memphis defense can hold its own against the Bruins on the road, there is a good chance the Tigers can make a contest out of Saturday’s matchup. Complicating the task will be the absence of highly-touted defensive end and defensive anchor, Martin Ifedi, who suffered a leg injury against Austin Peay.