Memphis Suffers 41-21 Setback to Temple on Senior Day
Nov. 30, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis football team (3-8, 1-6) was held to 228 yards of offense and allowed 534 yards to Temple (2-10, 1-7) in a 41-21 loss Saturday afternoon at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
On Temple's first drive of the game, the Owls used a fake punt on fourth-and-two to gain nine yards from Paul Layton and keep their drive alive. Temple converted their second fourth-down conversion with a three-yard rush from Walker on fourth-and-one before its drive stalled to give Memphis the ball on its own 33 with 8:01 to play in the first.
After a three-and-out by the Tigers, a 61-yard punt from Tom Hornsey pinned the Owls at their own four-yard line.
Temple continued to move the ball well as a 21-yard run from Jamie Gilmore followed by a face mask penalty put the Owls at the Memphis 45-yard line. On the next play, Gilmore added 28 yards on the ground to get inside the red zone. The Owls' drive would end there with Nick Visco attempting a 22-yarder. The kick would be partially blocked, but hit the crossbar and bounced over to give Temple a 3-0 lead with 2:22 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers got their offense going in the second quarter with Paxton Lynch finding Alan Cross for 25 yards to reach the Temple 28. Memphis would get inside the Temple red zone before a fumble at the 13-yard line gave the Owls the ball back with 12:26 to play in the half.
A 45-yard pass from Walker to Chris Coyer highlighted Temple's next drive to put the Owls at the Memphis 15. Temple punched in the first touchdown of the game with a pass from Walker to Robbie Anderson to give the Owls a 10-0 advantage with 7:22 left in the half.
Memphis got back in the game on its next possession with Joe Craig returning the kickoff 56 yards to the Temple 30. After a six-yard gain from Brandon Hayes, Lynch then hit Keiwone Malone for 23 yards to get to the Temple one-yard line. Sam Craft then got Memphis on the board with a one-yard run to make it 10-7 at the 5:49 mark.
Temple got deep into Memphis territory on its next series with a 28-yard pass to Ryan Alderman to reach the Memphis 28. The Tigers defense picked up their intensity as Ricky Hunter and Anthony Brown sacked John Christopher for a loss of nine yards before Walker's pass was intercepted by Chris Worley at the Memphis 31.
After forcing a Memphis punt, the Owls got going with a 40-yard run from Walker before finding Anderson again in the end zone with an 11-yard throw to give Temple a 17-7 halftime lead.
Craft got the second half going for the Tigers with a 54-yard return on the kickoff to reach Temple's 40-yard line. The drive would stall for the Tigers with Hornsey putting Temple inside their own five-yard line for the second time at the one.
After forcing a three-and-out, Memphis took over on the Owls' 25-yard line following a 15-yard penalty on Temple. The Tigers cut their deficit to 17-14 as Lynch found Craft for 10 yards for his second touchdown of the game with 10:59 left in the third quarter.
Temple answered on its first play from scrimmage on its next drive with Walker finding Coyer for a 75-yard touchdown pass to put the Owls up 24-14.
Temple distanced themselves early in the third quarter by blocking Horney's punt and recovering it in the end zone to give the Owls a comfortable 31-14 advantage with 9:38 to go in the third quarter.
Memphis kept fighting with Lynch completing an 18-yard pass to Malone to reach Temple territory. Craft found the end zone for the third time during the game with a three-yard rush to get Memphis within 31-21 with 4:57 remaining in the third.
The Owls added a field goal in the fourth quarter with a 19-yarder from Visco to push Temple's lead to 34-21 with 10:26 to play. With less than five minutes to play, Temple tacked on another score with a 21-yard pass from Walker to Anderson to make it a final 41-21.
Lynch went 19-of-29 for 162 yards and one touchdown while Craft led the Tigers receivers with 62 yards on seven catches and Malone added 57 yards on five catches. Hornsey averaged 50.5 yards on four punts with a long of 61 yards. On defense, Lonnie Ballentine and Charles Harris each recorded nine tackles apiece to lead Memphis with Ballentine posting eight solo tackles. Hunter added eight tackles with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Memphis closes out the 2013 season Saturday against UConn in East Hartford. Game time is slated for 12 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast on ESPN3.