For the second straight game, Memphis utilized the same captains at Marshall – linebacker Akeem Davis, offensive lineman Jordan Devey and linebacker Charles Harris. Marshall won the toss and elected to receive. The Tigers began the game by defending the south goal.
Freshmen LaMarvin Ashley (WR) and Micah Simmons (RG) made their first career starts of the season. Heading into Saturday’s game at Marshall, Memphis had 15 players who were first-time starters in 2012. That tally ranked tied for ninth nationally to begin the week.
Until Saturday’s game at Marshall, Simmons saw his most significant playing time of the season the previous week at SMU.
Memphis was penalized 16 times for 131 yards. The last time the Tigers were penalized 10 times or more came at Marshall in 2010. The last time Memphis was penalized 15 times or more came vs. Tulane in 1992 (15). The last time Memphis was penalized for 100 yards or more came against Southern Miss in 2009 (105).
Memphis played back-to-back games on the road only time this season. The Tigers were coming off a 44-13 loss at SMU.
Memphis entered the game ranked 16th nationally in forth down conversion (73.33 percent). The Tigers converted on their first, fourth-down play of the game (4th and 1 from the six). Following a one-yard run by Jacob Karam to pick up the first down, Jai Steib scored from five yards out on the ensuing play.
Memphis would convert a second fourth-down play late in the third quarter when Karam tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Milleson on a fourth-and-goal play. Milleson scored his first touchdown of the season.
Memphis would go on to convert on six, fourth-down plays in seven attempts. The Tigers complete its first six fourth down attempts.
Memphis’ first touchdown of the day consumed 7:19 (14 plays, 49 yards) making it the longest drive of the season by time.
Marcus Rucker passed Ryan Scott and Isaac Bruce for a tie for fifth on the all-time list for pass receptions list with Russell Copeland (1989-92). Rucker had six catches for 44 yards. • Jai Steib scored his second touchdown of the game with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run. He now leads the team with three rushing touchdowns this season.
Steib would finish the game with 40 yards on 15 carries. His two rushing touchdowns marked the first multi-rushing TD game of the season and only the second multi-touchdown game of the year (Marcus Rucker caught two touchdown passes against Middle Tennessee).
Senior offensive lineman Jordan Devey scored his first career touchdown after recovering a Jai Steib fumble in the end zone with 9:56 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Memphis ran a season high 84 offensive plays in the game.
The 372 yards total offense is the second highest total by the Tigers this season behind 399 yards against Middle Tennessee.
The 231 yards passing marks the second highest total of the season. Highest was 325 yards against Middle Tennessee.
Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award candidate, sophomore defensive end Martin Ifedi had two tackles and was credited with two quarterback hurries.
DeAndre Thompson registered his first career sack on a five-yard loss. He finished with a career tying five tackles.
Ricky Hunter registered his second quarterback sack of the season during the game for a loss of 11 yards.
Robert Steeples led the team in tackles with nine stops, including a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. The nine tackles are a career high.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
A nominee for the Ray Guy Award, senior punter Tom Hornsey averaged 42.0 yards per punt (four punts).
Hornsey also completed a 61-yard toss and run to Bobby McCain on a fourth-down play. It was the second-longest pass play of the season for the Tigers.
Heading into the weekend sophomore Bobby McCain was ranked 32nd nationally in kickoff return average (25.59 yards per return). Against Marshall, McCain had a 52-yard return to open the second half – his third return of 50 yards or more this season. He finished the game with four returns for 117 yards.
McCain had over 100 kickoff return yards, his third time this season. It was the fourth time this season a Memphis player had over 100 yards on kickoff returns in a game.
Senior kicker Paulo Henriques had three of his four kickoffs against Marshall go into the end zone for touchbacks. Through nine games, Henriques has had 22 touchbacks on his 33 kicks.
Henriques had a 28-yard field goal attempt blocked early in the second half. It was the first Memphis field goal blocked since 2008 against Louisville.
Henriques would recover his own onside kick late in the third quarter. It was the first Memphis onside kick recovered by the Tigers since 2005 against Houston.