MEMPHIS — It was just one week ago when the Big 12 said no to Memphis — again.
It was another dose of disappointing expansion news but another decision that has seemed to galvanize the program heading into the Tigers’ biggest home game of the season Saturday against Mississippi State.
“It is Memphis. Just with the things going around about the conference and all that stuff, we always have that edge about us,” said Tigers receiver and AAC Offensive player of the week Calvin Austin. “Whether that’s who we’re playing, where we’re playing, the guys who are on the team who think they’ve been overlooked
This is a team that relishes proving people wrong, playing with a purpose not to mention playing with a big chip on its shoulder.
A program that has won 67 games since 2014.
That’s tops in the AAC and top 10 in the country. Memphis is one of only five teams in college football to win at least eight games in each of the last seven seasons.
The other four are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma but it’s UCF, Houston and Cincinnati heading to the big 12.
So safe to say these Tigers definitely have something to prove come Saturday.
“You come to Memphis, you come here already with a chip on your shoulder. When every person has a chip on their shoulder, comes together, I think it builds a team that plays with that edge.”
“For us, as a program, Memphis, we’re built to not back down from anybody. We do everything with a chip on our shoulder. It’s Memphis. Memphis grind. That’s what we’re all about,” said Tigers tight end Sean Dykes. “We’re going to line it up Saturday and see what happens.”
Dykes also has a message to Tiger fans heading out to the Liberty Bowl this weekend, a place where the U of M hasn’t lost in almost three years.
“I want the Liberty Bowl to be packed, loud, and shoot, fanatical. Give us everything you got. We’re gonna need it,” Dykes said. “We haven’t lost a game there since 2018, in the Liberty Bowl. No matter who’s coming, we just have to defend the house. Protect the house. Protect the Bowl. We don’t lose in Orange Mound.”
Kickoff between the Tigers and Mississippi State is set for 3 pm.