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Memphis Tigers 101: Get to Know Penn State’s Opponent in the Cotton Bowl

Penn State is in the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1975 when they beat Baylor. This time around, it’s Memphis. What do we know about the 17th-ranke...

Penn State is in the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1975 when they beat Baylor. This time around, it's Memphis.

What do we know about the 17th-ranked team in the country? Well, we do know that Memphis has a very good offense. Since losing to Temple, they've beaten three top-25 teams.

Their quarterback, Brady White, has thrown 33 touchdown passes. That's 6th in the country.

Their running back, Kenneth Gainwell didn't start at the beginning of the season but had over 2,000 yards rushing and receiving, and the wide receiving corps is probably superior to Penn State's corps. So, the story is going to be Penn State's defense.

"Tackling them," Penn State senior linebacker Jan Johnson began to explain. "Their running backs are pretty good, if not some of the best running backs that we're going to face. Tough runners, get a lot of yards after contact. So, definitely tackling is going to be huge. They have a receiver that's really good, really explosive. They give him the ball in a lot of different areas. So we're going to have to slow him down and just kind of contain. They do a little up-tempo stuff, too. So just making sure we're prepared for that, ready to go."

"Guys I've been impressed with is the quarterback, Brady White, the running back, Kenneth Gainwell, has had a fantastic year, redshirt freshman, and then two wide receivers, Antonio Gibson and Damonte Coxie, both have had great years.," Penn State Head Coach James Franklin added. "The quarterback has put up big numbers, as well as the running back."

On Thursday, it's the first and only opportunity to meet the Penn State players, down here at the Cotton Bowl.

We'll have a full report and, of course, a full, half-hour live show, the night before the game.

Tangle in Texas will air live Friday at 7:30 PM on WNEP.