Memphis Tigers kick off new football season with party

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The countdown is on. The Memphis Tigers kick off the 2023 season at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium against Bethune-Cookman on September 2.

Training camp begins Wednesday, and the Highland Hundred booster club hosted its annual Tiger Football kickoff party on Monday night.

It’s starting to get real.

“Tonight, I always know, tonight’s that last night, you know, here we go,” said head coach Ryan Silverfield. “This is like Christmas, I’m gonna wake up tomorrow, get the whole group back. I’m like a happy parent, get the whole roost back together and get rolling back tomorrow. Really excited to kick this thing off.”

“Oh yeah, it’s been real for a little bit now, but this event kind of gets the ball officially rolling,” said former Memphis quarterback and current graduate assistant Brady White. “Obviously with the start of fall camp coming, we’re all excited. This is always a really fun time to see familiar faces and get some excitement going into the football season.”

“Oh, it’s pretty great to know that we have a lot of people that support us as a Tiger family,” said junior wide receiver Roc Taylor. “We love to see our Tiger fans come out and support us.”

It’s a new year, with fresh faces everywhere in the AAC, with the conference welcoming six schools this season.

“It’s a bunch of new teams, a bunch of new opponents, new gameplans, new defenses, new people we haven’t seen,” said fifth-year defensive lineman Jaylon Allen. “So, I’m just excited to do that.”

Silverfield expects his squad to hit the ground running at the start of camp.

“Now is the time to improve,” said Silverfield. “I think in spring ball, you’re kind of seeing what you’ve got, get a feel for it, make sure you’re going through the X’s and O’s of things.

“Now, okay, how can we adjust? What can we do to get better? And make the adjustments on the fly, because now it’s not an every-other-day deal. Then stay healthy. So, if we can get better and stay healthy, I think we’ll like the end result when camp is all said and done.”

The Tigers think they can do damage in the new-look AAC.

“Oh, it’s been a buzz in the locker room for sure,” said Taylor. “Competing, everyone wanna get better, iron sharpens iron. Everybody just been working, everyone got a goal and everybody trying to achieve that goal, especially as a team.”

Monday’s event was held by the Highland Hundred and the 901 Fund.

Festivities will go on from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, with $15 admission for Highland Hundred members and $30 for non-members.

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