The Memphis-Southern Miss series is the longest series in school history, with 62 contests since the series began in 1935.
Today’s game marked the 950th football game for the University of Memphis since the program’s inception in 1912.
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Andy Summerlin made his second start of the season today. He also started the season opener against Mississippi State before leaving that game with an injury. Summerlin has played in five games this season.
Only two offensive players have started all 12 games for the Tigers this season. Those two are offensive linemen Jordan Devey and Ronald Leary. Leary has started the last 36 straight games for the Tigers. In his four-year career, he has started 36 of 44 career games.
With his 12-yard catch on Memphis’ first series of the game, senior Tannar Rehrer ends his Tiger career on a 16-game receiving streak dating back to last season.
Senior receiver Cam Baker had a career-long 27-yard catch in the second quarter. Baker’s previous high was a 23-yard reception against UAB in 2009.
Andy Summerlin completed 21 of 45 passes attempted for 174 yards and two interceptions. Memphis had come into the game ranked tied for 16th nationally in passes had intercepted, and had not tossed a pick in the last three-straight games.
Tannar Rehrer ended today’s game with seven catches for a team high 53 yards. Rehrer has caught at least five passes in nine of the 12 games this season. He had hauled in at least five receptions in five straight games before having to leave the UCF game early with an injury. For the season, Rehrer totals 70 receptions for 593 yards. His 70 receptions rank second in school history in single-season receptions. He surpassed Duke Calhoun, who previously held the No. 2 spot with 68 catches during the 2009 season and finished four behind Isaac Bruce’s record 74 catches in 1993. Rehrer led the team in receiving yards in five of 12 games this season.
Redshirt-freshman Kevin Wright caught a 10-yard pass late in the third quarter to extend his receiving streak to 12 games after catching at least one pass in every game this season.
Senior defensive lineman Frank Trotter dropped Austin Davis for a loss of two yards in the first quarter to move up to third all-time at the University of Memphis in career TFL. With his one TFL today, Trotter ends his career with 36.5 TFL, and surpassed Marlon Brown for the No. 3 spot. Brown tallied 36 TFL from 1985-88.
Taurean Nixon forced a fumble at the end of the second quarter that kept Southern Miss from scoring again before going in at the half. Nixon forced the turnover on the 1 and the ball was picked up by sophomore Lonnie Ballentine. It was Nixon’s first forced fumble and Ballentine’s first recovery. Memphis has forced a turnover in 11 of the 12 games this season; and this was the 17th fumble recovery for the Tigers this year.
Junior safety Mitch Huelsing logged his second interception of the year when he picked off Austin Davis at the Memphis 11 in the third quarter. This is the second-straight game that Huelsing has registered an interception. Memphis was unable to convert the miscue into points, having to punt the ball away on its next drive.
The Tigers have forced 30 turnovers this season (12 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries). In 12 games of 2010, Memphis logged just 13 turnovers gained (8 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries). The only game that Memphis did not force a turnover was against UCF. Memphis entered today’s game tied for ninth nationally in turnovers gained and tied for fourth in fumbles recovered. The Tigers were also in the top 10 nationally in turnover margin, coming in at sixth in the country.
Memphis scored its only points of the game on a fumble recovery in the endzone by Mitch Huelsing with 6:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. Akeem Davis forced the fumble on a rush for a loss of two yards by Jamal Woodyard. It is Huelsing’s first touchdown and fourth fumble recovery of the season (third-straight game) and his career. The forced fumble is the third of the season for Davis. Memphis has scored four defensive touchdowns this season and two in the last two games.
Mitch Huelsing led the team with 11 tackles, tying a career best set last year against Tennessee. It is his third double-digit tackle game and second time this season he has led the team in tackles. Huelsing has recorded five takeaways in the last three games, (3 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions).
Frank Trotter finished with 10 tackles marking tying a career best. He also had 10 tackles against Houston and Marshall in 2010.
Zach Gholson had a career best two TFL including a sack of Austin Davis for a loss of 24 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Sophomore punter Tom Hornsey registered 11 punts for 471 yards in today’s game. He ends the 2011 season with single season records in punts with 95 and yards with 3,993. He tied the single-season record for punts as a true freshman with 80 and set a new record with 3,416, which he has now bested by 577 yards. In his 24 career games as a Tiger, the Aussie is ranked fifth in career punts with 175 and fifth in yards with 7,409.
The 11 punts by Tom Hornsey marks the sixth time he has had double-digit punts and fourth time this season. The 11 punts rank seventh in school history and the 471 yards are tied for third.