MEMPHIS — The 2021 Memphis football schedule is complete after the American Athletic Conference announced game dates Thursday. Memphis will host seven of its 12 regular-season opponents at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, where the Tigers have won a program-record 15 consecutive games.
“The 2021 schedule presents a tremendous opportunity for this program to continue its upward trajectory,” said Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield. “We have four challenging non-conference tests followed by eight games in what we believe is one of the most competitive conferences in the country. We are very excited to have seven of those games at the Liberty Bowl.”
Memphis will look to extend its home winning streak, which is the fifth-longest in the FBS, for the first time in 2021 on Sept. 4 against Nicholls State. The Colonels have made the FCS Playoffs each of the past three seasons and are scheduled to play seven games this spring after canceling their fall 2020 season.
The Tigers will have their first road game Sept. 11 at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are entering their first season under former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Memphis defeated Arkansas State, 37-24, in the first game of last season for both teams.
The Tigers return to the Liberty Bowl for their marquee non-conference matchup against SEC rival Mississippi State on Sept. 18. It’s the 45th game between the programs. Memphis’ last game against Mississippi State was in 2011, and its last win came in 1993 when the Tigers defeated the No. 23 Bulldogs, 45-35, in Starkville.
Non-conference play concludes Sept. 25 at the Liberty Bowl in what will mark the first-ever game between Memphis and UTSA. The teams were scheduled to meet last season in San Antonio before the game was canceled due to COVID-19.
Memphis opens AAC play with back-to-back road games at Temple (Oct. 2) and Tulsa (Oct. 9). The Tigers have faced Temple six times, all since 2013, with each team having three wins in the series. Against the Golden Hurricane, Memphis owns a three-game winning streak both in the overall series and games played at Tulsa.
The only possible Thursday game of the season is either Oct. 14 vs. Navy or it could be played on Saturday, Oct. 16. If it is played on Thursday, it would be only five days after the game at Tulsa as the Tigers would play the Midshipmen and their triple-option offense at the Liberty Bowl. It’s the seventh consecutive season Memphis will face Navy in an evenly matched series at three wins apiece.
Memphis is back on the road Oct. 22 for a Friday game at UCF. The Tigers set a school record last season with a 21-point comeback victory over the Golden Knights, who will be in their first season under former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn in 2021.
A bye week is followed by a Nov. 6 home game against SMU, the Mustangs’ first trip back to the Liberty Bowl since a 54-48 Tigers’ win in front of a sellout crowd in 2019, and ECU comes to Memphis on Nov. 13.
A Friday game at Houston on Nov. 19 is the final road contest of the season as the Tigers look to extend their five-game winning streak over the Cougars.
The regular-season schedule wraps up at the Liberty Bowl against Tulane on either Friday, Nov. 26 or Saturday, Nov. 27. The date is expected to be decided by Oct. 4.
Memphis finished 8-3 last season, Silverfield’s first as head coach. The record marks the highest winning percentage by a first-year head coach in school history. The Tigers capped 2020 with a 25-10 victory over Florida Atlantic in the Montgomery Bowl to earn their first bowl victory since 2014.
Tigers season ticket holders will receive information on the 2021 renewal process in March. Anyone interested in getting on board with NEW season tickets for 2021 can Click Here or call the Memphis Athletics Ticket Office at 901.678.2331 to secure season tickets with a $50 seat deposit. Season tickets start as low as $99.
MEMPHIS TIGERS 2021 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sat. Sept. 4 Nicholls State
Sat. Sept. 11 at Arkansas State
Sat. Sept. 18 Mississippi State
Sat. Sept. 25 UTSA
Sat. Oct. 2 at Temple*
Sat. Oct. 9 at Tulsa*
Thur./Sat. Oct. 14/16 Navy*
Fri. Oct. 22 at UCF*
Sat. Nov. 6 SMU*
Sat. Nov. 13 ECU*
Fri. Nov. 19 at Houston*
Fri./Sat. Nov. 26/27 Tulane*
Sat. Dec. 4 AAC Championship