The final weeks of the American Athletic Conference schedule - starting with No. 25 Memphis' trip to No. 16 Houston on Saturday - will likely decide who will get the Group of 5's spot in a New Year's Six bowl game. The Tigers (21) and Cougars (24) were ranked in this week's College Football Playoffs rankings along with conference mates Navy (20) and Temple (22).
Houston is the only undefeated team left in the Group of 5 and faces its toughest test of the season in Memphis. The game will feature the league's top scoring offenses - Memphis at 44.8 and Houston at 44.4 - which are led by two talented quarterbacks. Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch has eight straight 300-yard games. His counterpart, Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr. has 16 rushing touchdowns and a 70.4 completion percentage.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Houston -7
ABOUT MEMPHIS (8-1, 4-1 AAC): Lynch (3,014 yards, 19 TDs and two INTs on 69.1 completion percentage) has at least one touchdown pass in 14 straight games. Doroland Dorceus leads the Tiger ground game with 449 yards and seven TDs while receiver Mose Frazier has 52 catches for 626 yards and three scores. Jake Elliott, who has hit 16 of 18 field goals this year, has the second most field goals made in school history (53).
ABOUT HOUSTON (9-0, 5-0): Ward has thrown for 2,116 yards, 13 TDs and four INTs to go with 829 rushing yards. Kenneth Farrow has a team-high 857 rushing yards and 10 TDs and the Cougars are ranked seventh nationally in rushing yardage (273). Houston's defense allows 99.4 rushing yards (eighth nationally) and 18.7 points (22nd nationally) and has forced a FBS-leading 25 turnovers.
1. Memphis is 4-0 on the road this season and has won eight straight, the nation's second-longest road winning streak behind Ohio State's 16.
2. The Cougars defense has scored a defensive touchdown in three straight games (fumble return and two interceptions returned).
3. Houston has won 10 straight games, the fourth longest active streak behind Ohio State (22), Clemson (12) and Oklahoma State (11).
PREDICTION: Houston 36, Memphis 24