Day 3 of bowl season continues with the 7-3 Memphis Tigers taking on the 5-3 Owls of Florida Atlantic in the first-ever Montgomery Bowl on Wednesday from Montgomery, Ala., inside the Cramton Bowl. Kickoff is at 7:00 P.M. Eastern.
The Montgomery Bowl is taking the place of the canceled Fenway Bowl. This game will be just the second meeting all-time between the two schools, with FAU defeating Memphis in the 2007 New Orleans Bowl, 44-27.
Memphis Tigers Outlook
The Tigers are playing in a program-record seventh straight bowl game, but they haven’t been victorious since the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl against BYU. Last year, Memphis lost a shootout to Penn State in the Cotton Bowl.
The Tigers won four of their final five games to close out their regular season, finishing third in the American Athletic Conference behind Tulsa and Cincinnati. In the finale, they held off a furious rally from Houston and used a 47-yard field goal to win in dramatic fashion as time expired.
Memphis is led by senior quarterback Brady White, who has won more games than any other QB in program history. White has thrown for more yards and passing touchdowns than anyone before him as well.
Wideout Calvin Austin III became just the fourth Tiger to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season, hauling in 10 touchdown receptions en route to a First-Team All-ACC campaign.
Florida Atlantic Owls Outlook
The Owls are unbeaten in bowl games, going a perfect 4-0 dating back to the aforementioned New Orleans Bowl in 2007. They’ve also taken down Central Michigan in the 2008 Motor City Bowl and combined for 102 points in two Boca Raton Bowl wins in 2017 and 2019.
FAU boasted a four-game winning streak from Halloween to late November but struggled down the stretch, losing their final two games by a combined 31 points. The Owls tied Southern Miss late in the first half but never took the lead, ultimately falling by two touchdowns in their regular-season finale.
First-year head coach Willie Taggart emphasizes defense, as the team allows the 17th-fewest yards per game in the country. Senior Leighton McCarthy finished the regular season second in the country with nine sacks and also posted 12.5 tackles for loss.
Betting Line and Pick
Memphis is favored by eight points in the Montgomery Bowl, with an over/under of 49.5. The line opened with the Tigers laying 11, so a lot of money has come in on Florida Atlantic since Sunday. Neither team has been particularly good against the spread this season, going a combined 6-12 ATS.
This will be just the second time this season that FAU is an underdog, previously catching 20 points against Marshall on October 24. They lost the game outright but easily covered the 20, ultimately falling by 11. Their defense, led by McCarthy and Montgomery native, cornerback Zyon Gilbert, should keep the Owls in this one, and while their offense is unlikely to match the Tigers score-for-score, they should cover this number as well.
Betting Pick: Florida Atlantic Owls (+8).