Memphis Tigers First Responder Bowl
The Memphis Tigers won the First Responder Bowl 38-10 over the Utah State Aggies. Let me paraphrase an old story… bear with me. The story is called the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”.
But that story is not the purpose of this particular story. This story is a tale of the “other brother”. Whether you call it a redemption story for Coach Ryan Siverfield or returning QB Seth Henigan, the Memphis Tigers’ story this year is of the “other brother”. In Memphis fashion, stayed home and “TCB”. Here was his story.
“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” Long story short, this year Memphis Tigers football has taken care of business.
The criticism of the program has focused on two former coaches who have left (for more money) and, for Silverfield, a criticism that the “cupboard wasn’t bare”; which it wasn’t. But the lack of upset wins has been countered by a wonderful lack of upset losses.
My preseason prediction was 7-5. Memphis was actually 6-6, thanks to a multiple-overtime road loss to East Carolina. Memphis was 7-6 against the spread this year, including the last 4 games (h/t to @SpikedJohnnyB). And though many transfers or recruits have not panned out (check out many preseason previews) many who have stayed have outperformed their expectations.
Memphis Tigers First Responder Bowl, early action
Here’s how yesterday shook out. Early on Utah State Aggies held even. Their defense held Memphis Tigers touchdown-less through the first quarter. But in the second quarter the Tigers pulled out the Eddie Lewis card. And Utah State fell behind quickly – aided by the Tigers defense keeping the Aggies in check on offense.
Second quarter, the Tigers passed the ball often to Eddie Lewis, who ended up with 83 yards with 2 TDs. TE Kaden Prieskorn caught a TD pass, finishing out a productive year with 7 TDS on 48 receptions, and All-AAC honors. The Tigers behind Seth Henigan’s arm jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead, he finished with 284 yards and 3 TDS.
Memphis Tigers First Responder Bowl, second half
Utah State Aggies try to come back, scoring on a pass by backup QB Bishop Davenport to WR Brian Cobbs. This brought the score to 24-10, but the onside kick by Utah State failed. Later, in the fourth quarter, the Tigers added 2 more touchdowns, including one by Jevyon Ducker.
To sum up the opening to the story: sometimes it’s the “other brother” who stays behind that needs the pat on the back. Seth Henigan is not Brady White – but Seth Henigan is 1-0 in bowl games. Coach Silverfield is not a past- Tiger coach, but he has a 2-0 bowl record (plus led them to another that was canceled by Covid). The Memphis Tigers have now been to 9 straight bowl games, best in the non-power 5. Sometimes good enough IS GOOD ENOUGH: and maybe the future is bright for Tiger fans.
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