Miami Beach Bowl Capsule
Memphis (9-3, 7-1 AAC) vs. BYU (8-4, independent), 2 p.m. ET, (ESPN)
Line: Memphis by 1½.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Memphis is seeking its first 10-win season since 1938, plus has a chance to close its season on a seven-game winning streak. BYU is looking to have a nine-win year for the sixth time in the last nine seasons and comes into this game having won four of its last five postseason contests.
BYU quarterback Christian Stewart vs. Memphis’ secondary. Stewart ended the regular season on a roll (4-0 in November, 62 percent completion rate, 14 touchdowns against one interceptions). But he’s about to face a big test. Over its current six-game winning streak, Memphis has held opponents to 50 percent passing and four touchdowns in 245 attempts. Opposing quarterbacks have a combined 93.1 rating in that span, downright paltry in the college game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Memphis: LB Tank Jakes is as good as a defender gets in the American, with 83 tackles and 11 sacks. CB Bobby McCain is a threat at both his regular position and in the kick-return game, and QB Paxton Lynch has thrown 171 consecutive passes without an interception.
BYU: WR Mitch Mathews has 64 catches this season (including 16 in one game against Nevada), WR Jordan Leslie is a proven big-play option with dependable hands and LB Alani Fua leads a defense that yielded 3.3 yards per rushing attempt during the regular season.
FACTS & FIGURES
BYU had seven bowl wins in 23 all-time appearances before current coach Bronco Mendenhall took over in Provo; he’s going for his seventh bowl win in 10 tries with the Cougars. ... Memphis had won six of its last 18 games before this current six-game winning streak. ... With a victory, Memphis would match its win total from the 2010 through 2013 seasons combined. ... BYU has not won any of its six previous games played in the state of Florida.