Memphis Tigers Studs and Duds, (and a few notes about North Texas, too). What to love and what to love about this last display of Memphis Tigerdom. (Ok, it’s a word now, so here’s the rest).
Stud, Xavier Cullens
How about an Interception for a touchdown? A pick – six for the Tiger DB. What not enough for you? What about a timely fumble recovery- at the North Texas 8? Yes, thank you very much. North Texas had their quarterback Austin Aune light up the Tiger’s defense for 371 yards. Aune threw 2 picks, though, that turned the game against the Mean Green.
Dud, the unimaginative gameplan (or execution) for the offense
You might properly apply the adjective sleepwalking to the Memphis Tigers offense today. It looked stronger, faster, and more talented than North Texas. But it did not translate. Coach Silverfield may have assumed (correctly) that the defense was strong enough to carry the day. And they did, magnificently. But it was the first game Memphis could not pass at will. QB Seth Henigan was on fire the first half, 14-18 for over 120 yards, but passed for less than 20 the second half. The running game (detailed below) saved them.
Stud, Jaylon Allen (Tweet showing his great touchdown return)
A 39 yard touchdown return off an interception was his great achievement today. Jaylon Allen had another steller defensive game today, though. He led the team (again) with 9 tackles, and seven of those tackles were solo. The Tigers needed his aggressiveness and great play today. His work on the edge of the defense was necessary all day, as North Texas (led by Smart, and Maclin, with 82 and 81 yard receiving) pierced the Tigers up the middle all day.
The Last Part of Memphis Tigers Studs and Duds
Stud, Seth Henigan (ALWAYS) but the emerging running game, featuring Brandon Thomas.
This was the second game in four that the Tigers needed running late. And in each case, Brandon Thomas delivered late not only yards but time ticking off that clock. Third down conversions, moving the chain, and effectively if not dominantly taking control late. His first game as the yard per carry leader, though most games he’s led in carries. Rewarding Coach Silverfield’s confidence in him, he kept piling up first downs until the game was realistically out of reach, a 3 score margin with under four minutes left.
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