Tigers Lose Grip on Battle of Bones Trophy
Nov. 14, 2009
By Joshua R. Wilkins
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A 24-0 UAB run kept the Memphis Tigers from winning the Battle of the Bones trophy for a third straight season as Memphis fell to the Blazers 31-21 Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The loss drops Memphis' record to 2-8 on the season, 1-5 in Conference USA play, and 2-4 at the Liberty Bowl.
The Tigers amassed more than 400 yards of offense, and hung with the Blazers through most of the first half, but were unable to contain Blazer quarterback Joe Webb, who threw for 379 yards and three scores while running for another touchdown. Will Hudgens, playing the final home game of his collegiate career, was 26-41 passing for 330 yards for the Tigers.
Curtis Steele, also a senior Tiger, ran for two Tiger scores and 107 yards in his final game at the Liberty Bowl. Steele has now scored touchdowns in 10 of his final 14 games in a Tiger uniform. Steele's yardage also moved him past Terdell Middleton into seventh place all-time on the Memphis career rushing list.
Webb scored the game's first touchdown with four seconds left in the first quarter on a 15-yard run.
Steele would answer 1:01 later with an 11-yard touchdown of his own. Matt Reagan's PAT made the score 7-7.
Two Webb touchdown passes, to Nick Adams and Frantrell Forrest respectively, would give the Blazers a 21-7 lead at halftime.
After Josh Zahn's 27-yard field goal for the Blazers, Webb would find Forrest for another touchdown pass from 12 yards out, putting the Blazers up 31-7 with 35 seconds remaining in the third period. Steele would score his second touchdown with 4:34 remaining in the game from the seven.
Senior quarterback Brett Toney would tally the game's final touchdown from six yards on a quarterback keeper. Reagan's third PAT made the score 31-21.
Senior wideouts Carlos Singleton and Duke Calhoun donned blue jerseys for the final time. Calhoun, Memphis' all-time leader in receptions and reception yardage, had four catches for 78 yards. Singleton, Memphis' all-time leader in touchdown receptions, had six catches for 73 yards.
It would also be the final time outgoing head coach Tommy West would perform those duties for the Tigers in front of the home crowd.
Saturday's game was the final contest at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for 25 Tiger seniors in all. The class was honored prior to kickoff as they are escorted out on the field by their family members. This year's senior class is made up of: Jada Brown, Duke Calhoun, Paul Edwards, DajLeon Farr, Arkelon Hall, Brian Hall, Kellen Heard, Chris Hobbs, Kevin Hubbard, Will Hudgens, Greg Jackson, Steven Joachim, Deante' Lamar, T.J. Pitts, Malcom Rawls, Matt Reagan, Jeremy Rockette, Carlos Singleton, Alton Starr, Curtis Steele, Greg Terrell, Roger Terry, Brett Toney, Steven Turner and Josh Weaver.
Memphis will return to action next Saturday against C-USA Western Division leader Houston in Houston, Texas. Game time will be 12 noon Central Standard Time, and the game will be televised on CSS, local Comcast Channel 6. WREC AM 600 will carry the radio broadcast.