The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

In­deed, Mem­phis was in this ex­act same po­si­tion just two years ago, when the Tigers were un­de­feated, com­ing off a big win over Ole Miss, and ranked No. 13 by the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

Then Mem­phis got thumped by Navy, 45-20. Then Mem­phis lost a heart­breaker to Hous­ton, 35-34.

Pos­si­bil­i­ties are just pos­si­bil­i­ties if you don’t turn them into re­al­i­ties with even more wins.

Which brings us to an­other big game against Hous­ton, which has emerged as a true ri­val over the last few years.

Three years ago, Hous­ton de­feated Mem­phis 28-24 at the Lib­erty Bowl.

Two years ago, Hous­ton won that 35-34 crusher at Hous­ton when Jake Elliott missed what would have been the game-win­ning kick.

Then, last year, Mem­phis took re­venge by de­feat­ing Hous­ton at the Lib­erty Bowl, 48-44, when Ri­ley Fer­gu­son hit An­thony Miller with a touch­down pass with 17 sec­onds left.

To­tal score in the last three games: Hous­ton 107, Mem­phis 106. All three of the games were de­cided in the fourth quar­ter, and the last two games were de­cided on the fi­nal play.

This year’s Hous­ton team is a bit of an enigma, hav­ing opened the sea­son with a 19-16 win over Ari­zona, but then get­ting smashed by Tulsa on Satur­day, 45-17.

“They did not play their best game last week,” Norvell said. “But we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced that. It looked very sim­i­lar to a game we had (against Cen­tral Florida) in Or­lando a few weeks ago.”

Mean­ing, each team has had a stinker. Each stinker came on the road. In­deed, Hous­ton has lost ex­actly one home game in the last three sea­sons, a 27-24 loss to Texas Tech ear­lier this year.

So this is a big one. But, then, when you’re win­ning, all of them are.

“There’s ex­cite­ment about where the pro­gram is go­ing,” Norvell said.

To Hous­ton, and be­yond?

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