Memphis vs. East Carolina Post Game Notes
Sept. 11, 2010
Game Two - at East Carolina - September 11, 2010 - Greenville, N.C.
TEAM GAME NOTES
Tremaine McKenzie made his first start for the Tigers at strong safety. He got the starting nod over senior Darius Davis who was injured in practice this week. Also making their first starts today were linebacker Khiry Battle and corner Todd Washington. Washington is a true freshman from Gramercy, La.
True freshmen seeing their first game action today were Anthony Hayes (special teams) and Corey Jones (defense). Memphis has now played eight true freshmen two games into their season. OFFENSIVE NOTES Sophomore Cannon Smith started for the second straight game at quarterback. Smith was replaced by Ryan Williams with about 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Smith was 1-of-3 for seven yards and an INT when he came out of the game. He returned to start the second half but was in just two series before coming back out and missing the rest of the game with an apparent injury.
The Tigers yielded three turnovers in the first quarter (two fumbles and an interception) and all three resulted in touchdowns. Memphis' first drive ended with a fumble on the second play after the snap struck Cannon Smith in the facemask and ECU recovered the ball at the Memphis 12. ECU scored three players later. The second miscue was on the Tigers' second drive off a pick thrown by Smith. ECU scored on the 46-yard return. The final miscue of the quarter was a fumbled exchange between Smith and running back Jerrell Rhodes that was recovered at the Memphis 24. ECU scored four plays later.
True freshman Ryan Williams came in at quarterback with about 20 seconds remaining on the clock in the first quarter with the Tigers down 28-3.
Ryan Williams tossed the first touchdown of his collegiate career when he completed a 32-yard pass to Gregory Ray with just under 14 minutes remaining in the second quarter. It was also Ray's first career touchdown reception and a career-high for reception yardage. Williams completed two 30-yard plays on that single drive.
Cannon Smith started the second half at quarterback and completed his first pass attempt to redshirt freshman tight end Brooks Johnson for seven yards. Johnson caught a three-yard pass last weekend in his first collegiate action. Marcus Rucker hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Williams with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter. It was Rucker's second straight game with a touchdown reception and was the second TD tossed by Williams. Rucker also scored against ECU last season. Williams had entered the game with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.
True freshman running back Jerrell Rhodes caught a pass from Ryan Williams and raced into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown reception with 13:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. Williams is the first QB to throw three touchdown passes since Will Hudgens did so against UTEP last season. The TD reception was the first for Rhodes.
Ryan Williams ended the game with 293 yards on 18-of-25 pass attempts with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Williams led the Tigers to scores on four of his seven drives.
Jerrell Rhodes led the rushing efforts with 59 yards on 17 carries, both of which were career highs. He also had one reception for a 35-yard touchdown.
Dasmine Cathey was credited with a sack for a loss of five yards on third down that forced ECU to punt to open the game. It is his first sack of the year and he assisted on a sack against UT-Martin last season.
Linebacker Jamon Hughes led the defense in tackles for the second-straight week, posting 17 stops. His career high is 18 tackles against Houston last season. Tremaine McKenzie, who had his first collegiate start today, posted 12 tackles for a career-high. The last time a pair of defenders totaled double-digit tackles was Hughes and Deante Lamar against Houston in 2009.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Paulo Henriques converted his first collegiate field goal with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter. He booted a 38-yard field goal to put the first points on the board for Memphis. He later added a 42-yard field goal with 1:01 remaining in the fourth quarter. The sophomore finished with nine points in the game with three PATS and two field goals. Henriques handled kickoffs last season but is handling FGs and PATs for the first time in his career. He missed two field goals of 48 and 49 last week versus Miss. State.
Billy Foster logged 111 yards on seven kickoff returns, marking the second-straight game he is over the century mark. Foster tallied 160 yards last weekend against Miss. State in his first collegiate game with the Tigers. Foster missed the entire 2009 season with an ankle injury he suffered during fall camp. The last time a Tiger player had back-to-back 100-yard kick return games was Marcus Hightower in 2009 versus UAB & Houston.