Birmingham Bowl Capsule

Memphis (9-3, American) vs. Auburn (6-6, SEC), 12 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Auburn by 3.

Series Record: Memphis leads 2-0.


Auburn is trying to avoid finishing with a losing record two years after making the national championship game. Memphis can reach double-digit wins and is shooting for a second victory over a Southeastern Conference team this season.


Auburn's defense against the Memphis passing game led by QB Paxton Lynch. Auburn ranks 73rd nationally against the pass, giving up 232.2 yards a game through the air. Lynch is a potential No. 1 NFL draft pick who's likely the best passer Auburn has faced this season.


Memphis: Lynch has passed for a school-record 3,670 yards and 28 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He accounted for seven TDs – four passing, three rushing – to match an NCAA bowl record in last season's Miami Beach Bowl. Lynch had seven first-half TD throws in the regular season finale against SMU, a 63-0 win.

Auburn: RB Jovon Robinson became the offense's best weapon late in the season, helping make up for the season-long shaky play at quarterback. Robinson has 513 yards while workhorse Peyton Barber has run for 976 yards and 13 touchdowns. Memphis is allowing just 3.4 yards a carry.


Memphis is led by interim coach Darrell Dickey. Auburn is relying on interim defensive coordinator Lance Thompson, and both teams have graduate assistants or interns coaching positions or special teams. … Memphis has beaten two teams from Power 5 conferences – Kansas and Mississippi – for the first time since 1996. … Auburn placekicker Daniel Carlson and Memphis's Jake Elliott were among the finalists for the Lou Groza Award. Both have made 22 of 26 attempts. … Memphis defensive end Ricky Hunter grew up in Auburn. … Memphis is playing in a second straight bowl game for the first time since 2008.

AP College Football website: