Memphis Falls to Middle Tennessee, 21-7
Oct. 13, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher threw for one touchdown, rushed for another score and collected 410 yards of offense Saturday night to lead Middle Tennessee to a 21-7 victory over Memphis.
Dasher's 61-yard scoring run with 3:46 left put the Blue Raiders ahead for good. He finished the night with 180 yards rushing on 19 carries, and completed 16-of-26 passes for 230 yards.
DeMarco McNair caught Dasher's touchdown pass on a 55-yard play to open the scoring. McNair would add a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
Middle Tennessee (2-5) suffered through a night of turnovers as the Blue Raiders threw two interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles. Memphis (2-4) couldn't convert any of them into points.
Even when the Blue Raiders failed on a fake field goal with just over five minutes left, the Tigers couldn't move the ball, punting it away.
On the next play, Dasher dashed for his 61-yard touchdown.
Reserve quarterback Will Hudgens, subbing for injured Tiger starter Martin Hankins, was unable to repeat his performance against Marshall 11 days earlier when he threw for a career-high 346 yards in a Tiger victory.
Saturday night his passes were off the mark, and he managed only 134 yards through the air, completing 13 of 35 passes, missing connections on 10 of his last 12 throws.
The teams were tied 7-7 at intermission after first half where both teams moved the ball but were hindered by mistakes.
The Blue Raiders scored on their first possession when Dasher connected with McNair, capping an 80-yard drive in seven plays.
The Tigers answered later in the first quarter with their own 80-yard march that culminated with a 19-yard pass from Hudgens to Duke Calhoun.
The Tigers kicking woes continued as Matt Reagan couldn't convert a 47-yard field goal. Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee threw an interception and lost a fumble in the half.
The mistakes continued in the second half as Dasher threw his first interception of the season, picked off by Memphis defensive back Brandon Patterson, thwarting a Middle Tennessee drive deep in Tiger territory.
Instead of seizing the opportunity, Memphis running back T. J. Pitts fumbled, and Middle Tennessee's Tavares Jones recovered at the Memphis 14, giving the Blue Raiders the ball back.
This time Middle Tennessee converted the turnover into McNair's second touchdown, this one on a 1-yard run.
The Middle Tennessee defense held the Tigers to 65 yards of offense.