Tigers Open Season Against UT Martin Saturday
Aug. 31, 2012
Single Game Tickets for Saturday can be purchased here through Friday night. Tickets can be purchased on game day at all gates in the Liberty Bowl.
Saturday's game will be streamed live on the Memphis Tiger Network. You can subscribe to the feed (which also shows all live Memphis home events with no TV conflicts) for just $9.95 a month. Go here and click Subscribe in the top right corner.
U of M Students -- We have a separate .pdf file with information just for you! Click here to find out all you need to know for game day.
A new era in University of Memphis football kicks off Saturday night as the Tigers play host to UT Martin in the 2012 season opener.
Justin Fuente makes his debut as the Tigers' head coach and will lead a Memphis team loaded with newcomers into Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for the first time. Kickoff against the Skyhawks is slated for 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Memphis Radio Network and flagship station WREC 600 as well as streamed via gotigersgo.com.
In addition to a new-look Tiger team, fans will be treated to new amenities at the Liberty Bowl highlighted by new HD scoreboards, sound system, lighting and playing surface.
"I am hopeful that people will come out and come to a beautiful venue that the city and corporations here in town have spent a lot of money on to make it a more fan-friendly environment," Fuente said. "We are going to need them. On third down, we're going to need it to be loud."
Fuente has said during preseason camp that by no means will fans see this year's final product at Saturday's season opener but told his team earlier this week how proud he was of them from where they have come.
"I think they are different people from an accountability level, conditioning level and a strength level," he said. "As a program, do we have a long way to go? Absolutely. In my opinion, in the last eight months these kids have come a million miles and I'm awfully proud of them."
There are only 37 Tigers who return with playing experience. Most of that experience is on the defensive side of the ball.
Returning linebackers Akeem Davis and Kenyata Johnson each started 12 games last year and are the team's leading, returning tacklers. Davis registered 78 tackles last season including eight for lost yards and three interceptions. Johnson finished with 72 tackles.
Offensively, the Tigers' new look starts at quarterback where junior Jacob Karam will make the start on Saturday. Karam enrolled at Memphis after graduating from Texas Tech last December. He saw six games of action during his playing career with the Red Raiders and after receiving his degree was able to transfer to Memphis and be immediately eligible.
Memphis will be one of a dozen FBS schools without any previous starting experience at the quarterback position.
Sophomore running back Artaves Gibson is the team's top returning rusher from a year ago when he ran for 316 yards while sophomore Kevin Wright is the squad's top returning receiver after catching 36 passes for 398 yards last year as a rookie.
UT Martin will start three, second-year seniors in quarterback Derek Carr, running back Jason McNair and safety Julius McNair. The Skyhawks' senior leadership also includes Quentin Sims, the team's leading receiver last year as well as defensive lineman Montori Hughes.
Last year Carr completed 200-of-346 passes for 2,482 yards and 25 touchdowns. Simms was Carr's favorite target during the year, catching 54 passes for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jason McNair rushed for a team-best 782 yards and five touchdowns in 2011.
Hughes' 30 tackles last year including 6.5 tackles for lost yards and three quarterback hurries. Julius McNair had 53 tackles including 7.5 tackles for lost yards in 2011.
In addition, the Skyhawks return their two top tacklers from a season ago. Weak side linebackers Ben Johnson and Jarvis McCann are listed one-two on the UTM depth chart and were one-two in total tackles in 2011. Johnson led the team with 97 stops including 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks. McCann was in on 62 tackles last year.
Following Saturday's game, UTM is on the road at Northern Illinois next week before playing host to Southeastern Louisiana Sept. 13 in its home opener. Memphis travels across the river to take on Arkansas State next week. The Tigers' next home game is Sept. 15 against Middle Tennessee.
Ticket Information for Saturday's Opener
The University of Memphis Athletic Ticket Office is located in the Anfernee Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame at 570 Normal and will be open until 6 p.m. Friday night ... ticket windows at the Liberty Bowl will all open at 2 p.m. Saturday ... tickets are $30 and $10 ... in an effort to give fans additional opportunities to purchase tickets to the season opener, the University of Memphis has teamed up with area AutoZone stores to sell $5 end zone tickets for the game ... all 38 Memphis-area Autozone stores have end zone tickets available for purchase and the stores are the only place where fans can purchase $5 tickets.
Bring a Book Saturday