Memphis, Ryan Silverfield know stakes are high facing Tulane to reach bowl eligibility
A win puts the Tigers (5-6, 2-5) in a bowl game for an eighth consecutive season. A loss means the season is over. Nothing else matters against Tulane (2-9, 1-6).
"Whenever you're thinking of a game as your last game of the season, you're going to put your body on the line," Henigan said. "You're going to do everything in your power to get that first down, get that touchdown. Whatever it takes."
That's the pressure Memphis faces at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Coach Ryan Silverfield has stated often bowl games are the minimum standard and he reiterated that Monday.
GIANNOTTO:Is Memphis football losing its way?
"We're not going to beat a dead horse," Silverfield said. "We don't want them playing scared. We know we got to win this game but they got to go out and play football."
The big question is what lies ahead. The Tigers are tied for seventh place among 11 teams, and win or lose Silverfield will keep being evaluated by fans, athletics department officials and boosters.
Memphis will lose veteran seniors Calvin Austin III, JJ Russell, Sean Dykes and Jacobi Francis in the offseason but also returns Henigan after a promising freshman year. .
Tulane hasn't won in Memphis since 1998 but has won two of the last three meetings. Take care of business and Tigers can make plans in December a game like the Cure Bowl in Orlando or Frisco Bowl in Texas.
It's not appealing but the benefits are still there. As the first Memphis coach to win a bowl game since 2014, Silverfield knows that all too well.
"You get a chance to get a bowl win, I think it parlays into what you can do in the offseason. It builds excitement in recruiting. All those things," he said.
Want to stay informed on the latest Memphis sports news? A Commercial Appeal subscription gets you unlimited access to the best inside information and updates on local sports, and the ability to tap into sports news from throughout the USA TODAY Network's 109 local sites.
You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at email@example.com