Studs and Duds Houston beats Memphis
In a game that will be talked about for better or worse in Memphis for years (and probably for worse) Houston beat Memphis 33-32. Memphis led by 19 in the fourth, and by 13 with four minutes remaining; but never secured the final stop. It was not only incredible to Memphis fans but incredible in terms of many statistical anomalies. Here’s the Studs and Duds from this game.
Stud: Memphis Red Zone Defense
Houston twice had driven inside the Memphis five and gained zero points. They held Houston outside the goal line on two different rushes up the middle and forced a turnover. This resulted in Memphis actually taking the ball down the field to respond with a field goal. The second time they held Houston stopped on downs, with great team tackling at the goal line, Houston missed a chip-shot field goal wide right. It seemed that those two stops would be the deciding factor in the game early in the fourth quarter. Xavier Cullens had a great game with ten tackles, and Sylvonta Oliver contributed eight tackles, all solo.
Dud: Memphis late game execution on Defense
It all unraveled so fast for the Memphis Tigers defense. Whether it was scheme during late-game situations, or an enhanced urgency from a Houston Cougars offense that chose the last four minutes of the game to come alive: it didn’t work. None of the Memphis defensive schemes were successful, and even more importantly each of the three times the Houston passing offense needed to score, they did score. And quickly.
Stud: Houston execution and late-game poise
Houston QB Clayton Tune threw for two late touchdowns in the last two minutes. Houston remembered that phrase, “All we need to do is get this touchdown and recover the onside kick.” They did just that, despite teams trailing by 19 plus in the fourth being 0-129 (this from ESPN Stats and Information Service). Tune finished 36-57 with 366 passing yards. Both the late touchdown passes were to KeSean Carter, who had four catches for 36 yards, including the two late scores. Tony Dell was their leading receiver with 10 catches for 81 yards, including a touchdown.
Stud: Gabriel Rogers
Wide receiver Gabriel Rogers threw for a touchdown on what might be Tiger’s play of the year. He was featured in four reverses, but on this one he escaped three defenders, and then threw a perfect pass to Asa Martin the corner of the end zone for 41-yard completion. Besides that, he also had five catches for 71 yards. He also contributed two rushes for 23 yards and a kick return for 33 yards. He was the highlight of a well-called offensive game from the Tiger coaching staff. They called four reverses and took a lot of deep shots against the Houston defense.
Dud: The Memphis Sports Psyche
Will Memphis as a sports town get used to the phrase, “According to ESPN Stats” and the answer being…. NEVER? The awful thing for a game like this is that Seth Henigan, who was 21-32 with 241 yards and a touchdown, and no picks will be overlooked. The coaching staff who cooked up the best offensive game plan Memphis has seen against Houston in several years will be overlooked because of questionable time management in the fourth quarter. Houston had to score twice in the last four minutes and still left Memphis with a timeout in their pocket. Only forced one timeout while going over 120 yards in two drives in less than four minutes, by effective use of the sideline and spiking the ball. The Memphis Tigers will have to get their team psyche together after this historically brutal comeback by the Houston Cougars.