The Memphis Tigers will close out the 2011 football campaign with its annual rivalry game with Southern Miss, which is known by both schools as the “Black and Blue Bowl” for the physical battle that is typical of this game. Kick-off is set for 3 p.m., in Hattiesburg on Saturday.
The game is being carried by CSS with Craig Ackerman and Chuck Oliver handling the duties in the booth, and Maria Taylor providing the sideline reports.
Fans with a Memphis Tiger Vision subscription located in the following states (AR, KY, WV, NC, VA, TN, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA and TX) will not be able to view the online streaming of the game on GoTigersGo.com due to contract stipulations for a televised broadcast by CSS. WREC AM 600 will carry the game on the radio with Dave Woloshin and Wayne Weedon providing the commentary in the booth.
Saturday’s game will be the 62nd overall meeting between the two teams on the gridiron. Southern Miss leads the all-time series 39-21-1. The Tigers, though, have won four of the last seven meetings, including the 2007 encounter in Hattiesburg in which Memphis posted a 29-26 victory. Southern Miss holds a 19-4 lead in games played in Hattiesburg. The Tigers, however, have won two of their last three visits to Hattiesburg, dating back to the 2005 season. Memphis and Southern Miss have played every season since 1952, with the exception of the 1980 campaign.
The Longest Series Memphis and Southern Miss have met 61 times, which is the most games against an opponent in school history. The Memphis-Ole Miss series runs a close second at 59 games. Southern Miss is also the only team that Memphis has played twice in one season. USM won both meetings during the 1964 season. The first game was played on Oct. 10 in Memphis and the second game was played at a neutral site at Mississippi Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 21.
950th Game In Program History This weekend’s game at Southern Miss will mark the 950th game in school history since the program’s inception in 1912. Memphis has an all-time record of 437-479-33.
Porter Versus The Golden Eagles Although Saturday’s Southern Miss game is only Larry Porter’s second as a head coach against the Golden Eagles, he has a history as player in the “Black & Blue” rivalry. In his four years wearing the Blue and Gray from 1990-93, Porter’s Tigers faced Southern Miss each season. The teams split the four games (2-2), with each rival protecting its home turf (Tigers 2-0 at the Liberty Bowl; Golden Eagles 2-0 at “The Rock”).
First Time Since... Usually, when teams have a rivalry like Memphis and Southern Miss do, they play on college football’s final weekend of the regular season. That, however, has not been the case for the Tigers and Golden Eagles. Since 1971, the longtime rivals have met in the regular season finale only three times, with the last one coming in the 1997 campaign. The other two times Memphis closed the regular season versus Southern Miss since 1971 were in the 1972 (14-14 tie) and 1976 (14-12 Southern Miss win) seasons.
On This Date The Tigers have a 3-1-1 record when they play on Nov. 26 in the program’s history. Memphis won its last three Nov. 26 contests, including a 26-3 victory over Marshall at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in 2005. One of the most memorable wins in Tigers football history came on Nov. 26. In the 1966 campaign, the Tigers faced No. 11 nationally-ranked Houston in Space City U.S.A., and Memphis came away with the 14-13 upset of the Cougars.
Takeaways Lead To National Rankings The Tigers have logged 16 takeaways in the last six games, including a whopping six takeaways against Marshall (2 INT, 4 FR) and have now registered 27 takeaways through 11 games. Memphis logged 13 takeaways during all of the 2010 season. With four fumble recoveries against Marshall, Memphis now enters the final game of the season ranked tied for fourth nationally in that category, and improved to tied for ninth in turnovers gained. The Tigers are also in the Top 25 in turnover margin (6th), passes had intercepted (T16) and turnovers lost (T23).
Akeem Davis, who leads the team in fumble recoveries with four, is ranked tied for fourth nationally. He also ranks tied for 45th nationally in solo tackles with 54. Linebacker Terrence Thomas ranks fourth nationally in solo tackles with 70 after post eight solo stops versus Marshall last Thursday night.
Hornsey Sets School Records With just one game remaining in the season, sophomore punter Tom Hornsey now holds the school record in single-season punts (84) and yards (3,522). He tied the previous record of 80 punts as a true freshman in 2010, and set a new record for yards with 3,416, which he has now bested by 106 yards with one game to add to that total. Hornsey’s 84 punts and 3,522 yards rank No. 1 and No. 2 nationally, respectively. He also ranks 37th nationally with an average of 41.9 yards per punt. In just 23 career games, Hornsey ranks fifth in school history in career punts with 164 and in yards with 6,938.
Hornsey and Trotter on NCAA Active Leader Lists Tom Hornsey leads the nation in punts per game according to the NCAA’s active career leader chart. He is also 20th in average per punt. Defensive lineman Frank Trotter, who will complete his career at the U of M on Saturday against Southern Miss, is the 16th ranked leader in solo tackles in his career with 105 and is 14th in total career tackles by an active player with 185. Against USM, Trotter will be starting his 36th of his 48th career game.
Senior Banquet Set For Dec. 2 The Highland Hundred football booster organization will host the annual Senior Banquet on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Holiday Inn-U of M, located on Central Ave.The event features the entire football team and coaching staff. The President's Reception is from 6 - 6:45 p.m., with the dinner and program to follow at 7 p.m. Tickets for the reception are $25 per person. Individual seats for the banquet are $50 per person, and tables of four are available for $200. Each table will include four VIPs from the football team and staff. Please RSVP for the banquet by Nov. 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can pay at the door for the event. For more information, please check out HighlandHundred.org.
Please see below for video interviews with senior defensive lineman Frank Trotter and senior running back/receiver Billy Foster