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Tigers Football Insider: The offense needs to score more points
 
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Memphis Offensive Coordinator Kevin Johns during first day of practice on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)
 

Memphis Offensive Coordinator Kevin Johns during first day of practice on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Welcome back to the Tigers Football Insider, where we bring you the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Frank Bonner II, Geoff Calkins and John Martin each week.

Memphis hasn’t had the season it expected, partly because of the lack of offense.

The Tigers don’t have a major issue gaining yards being the 35th offense in the nation averaging 440 yards per game, but that hasn’t always turned into points.

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Memphis is averaging 29.8 points per game and hasn’t scored at least 30 points since the 35-17 win over Navy five games ago. Five of Memphis’ six losses have come when the Tigers have scored less than 30 points.

There isn’t a lot of time to fix the issue with just one game left in the regular season, but the Tigers will try to show a more productive offense when they kickoff against Tulane at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

“We have a very high standard of offense and when we don’t meet those standards then yeah, that’s extremely concerning to me,” offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said. “It’s disappointing and so what we try to do as coaches is work to fix it. …It’s a little disappointing but man we love our guys and we’ve got one more game, and we’re going to do the best we can to finish on a high note.”

Tulane is ranked 116th out of 130 teams in scoring defense, averaging 34.1 points per game, so Saturday is a good opportunity for the Tigers to reach that 30-point mark. Tulane’s two wins this season have come in games when it held Morgan State to 20 points and USF to 14 points.

The struggles running ball have contributed to the Tigers’ inability to score points and establishing a solid run game early will help jumpstart the offense in what Memphis hopes to be a productive day.

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“I think this game is going to come down to us winning our 1-on-1 battles on the perimeter at receiver, and then upfront with our offensive linemen and running backs,” Johns said. “Anytime you play a defense like this they’re going to challenge everything that you do and not make anything easy.”

Memphis has converted on nearly 59% of its fourth-down attempts this season which is a good sign for an offense that is struggling to score points. Having the ability to extend drives by taking gambles gives the Tigers more opportunities to put points on the board, especially when they have an unreliable kicking situation. We’ll see what impact that has on Saturday.


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