- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

No. 25 Memphis (8-1, 4-1 American, CFP No. 21) at No. 16 Houston (9-0, 5-0, CFP No. 24), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Houston by 7.

Series Record: Houston leads 14-9.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Both teams are in the hunt for a conference championship and a berth as the Group of Five representative in a New Year’s Day bowl game.

KEY MATCHUP

Houston defense vs. Memphis offense. The Tigers have scored the most points per game in the American Athletic Conference (44.8), while rushing for nearly 195 yards and throwing for just over 352 yards per game. The Tigers have scored less than 30 points only twice this season, including last week’s 45-20 loss to Navy. Houston’s defense has allowed 18.7 points a game this season, while giving up just under 100 yards on the ground and 268 yards through the air. Houston leads the nation with a plus-16 turnover differential, with 25 takeaways.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Memphis: QB Paxton Lynch. Lynch has thrown for 3,019 yards and 19 touchdowns against just two interceptions this year.

Houston: QB Greg Ward, Jr. Ward has 16 rushing touchdowns and 13 passing touchdowns this season, averaging 327 yards of total offense.

FACTS & FIGURES

Saturday’s game matches two of the hottest coaches: Houston’s first-year coach Tom Herman and Memphis’ fourth-year coach Justin Fuente. … Houston has won the last five meetings between the schools by an average of 19.4 points. … Houston RB Kenneth Farrow needs 126 yards for 3,000 career rushing yards. … WR Mose Frazier is Lynch’s favorite target with 52 receptions for 626 yards and three touchdowns … LB Genard Avery has 49 tackles, 6 1-2 tackles for loss and three sacks for Memphis this season. . This will be Houston’s first game against a ranked opponent as a ranked team since falling to Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship game in 2011.

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