Memphis vs. Middle Tennessee Postgame Notes
Sept. 18, 2010
Game Three - vs. Middle Tennessee - September 18, 2010 - Memphis, Tenn.
Corner Lonnie Ballentine became the ninth true freshman to play for the Tigers this season when he entered the game in the first quarter. Three of the nine true freshmen have logged starts including CB Todd Washington, QB Ryan Williams and DL Corey Jones. Washington started last weekend versus ECU as the first true freshman to make a start in 2010.
The victory was the first Memphis win in a home opener since 2006. The last home opening victory came when the Tigers beat Chattanooga 33-14 on Sept. 9, 2006, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Larry Porter became the third-straight Memphis coach to earn the victory in his home debut. Tiger first-year coaches are now 10-11-1 in their home openers. Prior to Porter, Rip Scherer and Tommy West both won their home debuts.
On Memphis' first offensive drive, RB Gregory Ray logged a 31-yard run, the longest rush for the Tigers this season.
Gregory Ray scored his first rushing touchdown of the season and his career when he rumbled nine yards with 11:52 remaining in the second quarter. It was Ray's second touchdown as he scored off a 35-yard reception last week versus ECU. Ray scored again on a nine-yard run with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Jermaine McKenzie registered his first career receiving touchdown when he hauled in the 22-yard offering from Ryan Williams with 9:17 left in the second quarter. It was Williams' fourth passing touchdown of the season.
Gregory Ray posted his first career 100-yard rushing game today with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. The last Tiger to rush for 100 yards was Curtis Steele against Tulsa in 2009. Steele was also the last Tiger to record two rushing touchdowns in a single game.
True freshman corner Todd Washington logged his first interception when he picked off Logan Kilgore at the MTSU 39 on 3rd-and-11 with just over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. Memphis scored three points off a 22-yard field goal by Paulo Henriques.
Todd Washington registered his second interception at the start of the second quarter. Washington is the first Tiger to log multiple picks since Marcus Ball versus UTEP last season. Washington picked off Logan Kilgore at the MTSU 49 and tallied a 13-yard return. Memphis scored a touchdown at the end of the drive on a rush by Gregory Ray.
Tremaine McKenzie scooped up his first fumble recovery when Dasmine Cathey forced MTSU's Phillip Tanner to cough up the ball at the MTSU 43. It was Cathey's first forced fumble since 2008 against Nicholls State. Memphis scored on the ensuing drive off a touchdown from Ryan Williams to Jermaine McKenzie.
Mohammed Seisay picked off Logan Kilgore at the Memphis 36 and made a 20-yard return in the third quarter. The last time Memphis had three interceptions in a single game was in 2005 versus UTEP. The Tigers scored off this turnover as well on a nine-yard run by Gregory Ray.
The Tiger defense forced four turnovers today with all 24 of the team's points coming off of the miscues. The last time that Memphis forced four turnovers was in 2007 against Middle Tennessee (2 INT, 2 fumbles).
True freshman Corey Jones had his first career sack late in the fourth quarter for a loss of five yards. Jones dropped MTSU quarterback Jeff Murphy for a loss of five on second down, which led to a Blue Raider punt one play later in Memphis territory. In his first career start, Jones finished with three tackles and two TFLs for a loss of 13 yards.
Jamon Hughes led the team in tackles for the third-straight game and seventh-straight game dating back to last year. Hughes finished with nine tackles and a TFL for a loss of three yards.
Junior defensive lineman Frank Trotter matched his career and season high with eight tackles and had two TFLs for a loss of six yards. Senior linebacker Winston Bowens matched a career best with two TFLs for a loss of six yards and had eight tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
True freshman Tom Hornsey made a career high 10 punts for 417 yards with an average distance of 41.7 yards. He kicked a career long 63-yard punt in the fourth quarter and had two punts inside the 20. The last Tiger to kick a punt 60 or more yards was Matt Reagan in 2009 against East Carolina when he kicked a 60 yarder.