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Why these 5 games are critical for Memphis Tigers football in 2022

After going 6-6 last season, the mission for Memphis football is clear: Get back to the standard set from its historic run between 2014 and 2020.

Fortunately, the Tigers’ schedule should help. Their opponents’ combined winning percentage from last season (.470, 70-79) is ranked 108th among 131 FBS schools, according to Phil Steele’s preseason preview.

With seven home games, it bodes well. But the Tigers still have tough hurdles ahead. Here are five games that could have the greatest effect on how the 2022 season goes.

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At Mississippi State (Sept. 3)

What happened last meeting: Memphis won 31-29 after stopping a late two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Calvin Austin III scored three touchdowns, including a controversial punt-return score.

Why the game matters: For the first time since 2010, the Tigers started a season away from home. They haven’t lost a season opener since 2013 yet are heavy underdogs – 16.5 to 17-point, per various sites – to a revenge-seeking Mississippi State team.

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