Memphis Pulls Away From UT Martin For 21-6 Win
Nov. 9, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis football team (2-6) scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to distance themselves from UT Martin (6-4) for a 21-6 victory Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The Skyhawks' first eight plays from scrimmage were on the ground as UT Martin moved the ball to the Memphis 24-yard line before being forced to kick a field goal. Kicker Jackson Redditt gave the Skyhawks a 3-0 lead at the 10:55 mark following a 41-yard attempt.
After a three-and-out on their first drive, the Tigers began their next series with a 14-yard run from Brandon Hayes, followed by a 30-yard pass from Paxton Lynch to Sam Craft to reach midfield. Facing a third-and-seven, Lynch found Tevin Jones for eight yards to keep the drive alive. After a 12-yard run from Hayes, Lynch was sacked for a loss of 19 yards on third-and-four to push the Tigers out of field goal range.
In the second quarter, Lynch's pass was intercepted near midfield and was returned to the Memphis 45 by Camaren Harris. On UT Martin's first play from scrimmage, Jarod Neal found Jeremy Butler for 25 yards to reach the 20-yard line. A personal foul and pass interference call on Memphis pushed the Skyhawks to the Memphis two-yard line, but unsportsmanlike conduct on UT Martin would move the ball back to the Memphis 16, forcing an eventual field goal for the Skyhawks. However, Redditt's kick would hit the left upright to keep the score 3-0 with 7:45 remaining in the second half.
After forcing Memphis to punt, UT Martin reached the Memphis 14-yard line, following a 51-yard rush from Abou Toure. Ricky Hunter and Charles Harris helped the Tigers defense keep the Skyhawks out of the end zone. Redditt converted his third attempt, this one a 21-yarder, to put UT Martin up 6-0 with 1:34 remaining before halftime.
Memphis' final drive before the half would be its best yet as Lynch completed a pass to Alan Cross for 32 yards to get the Tigers down to the UT Martin 16-yard line. A pass interference flag on Kevin Barfield moved the ball to the six-yard line before Lynch found the end zone, winding through the Skyhawks defense to give the Tigers the lead, 7-6, at the half.
The Skyhawks threatened midway through the third quarter after recovering a Memphis fumble on the Tigers' 33. Chris Thompson caught a Neal pass for 15 yards to get into the red zone. However, a face mask on the Skyhawks pushed the ball back to the 31-yard line, resulting in another UT Martin field goal try. Redditt's kick would again hit the left upright to help Memphis keep a 7-6 advantage with 8:26 left in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Lynch found Craft for 26 yards to reach midfield before completing another pass to Mose Frazier for 12 yards to get to the Skyhawks' 41-yard line. Lynch reached the UT Martin red zone after a 24-yard run. Memphis then extended its lead to 14-6 as Lynch went to Hayes through the air for 12 yards for the score with 7:56 left in the game.
On the Skyhawks' next drive, Neal went to the air, where he found Jeremy Butler for 37 yards to move the ball to the Memphis 34-yard line. However, Neal's next pass would be intercepted by Anthony Watson at the Tigers' five-yard line to give the ball back to Memphis.
The Tigers went to Hayes on their next drive, helping Memphis get deep into Skyhawks territory. A 34-yard run from Doroland Dorceus put the Tigers inside the 10-yard line before Craft ran the ball in to put Memphis up 21-6 with 2:57 to go.
Memphis would come up with a fumble recovery on UT Martin's next possession with Bobby McCain jumping on the ball to secure a 21-6 victory for Memphis.
Lynch went 15-for-22 for 189 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Craft led the Memphis receivers with 83 yards on three catches while Hayes led the rushers with 105 yards on 27 attempts. Harris, Watson, Ryan Coleman and Tank Jakes each totaled seven tackles apiece to lead the defense.
Memphis will travel to USF on Saturday to take on the Bulls at 6 p.m. (CT) in Tampa. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com.