Tigers Conclude Spring's Third Week with Scrimmage

March 29, 2014

Memphis' defense dictated the pace early as the Tigers' wrapped up the third week of spring drills with a Saturday morning scrimmage. The practice was the 10th of 15 the team will hold culminating with the April 11 Blue-Gray Spring Game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Rising senior defensive end Martin Ifedi helped set that pace with a quarterback sack during Saturday's first series as the team's No. 1s competed against one another as they have in all three scrimmages this spring.

Junior defensive end Ricky Hunter registered a sack on the second series of the workout. Senior linebacker Derek Howard had a 62-yard interception return and Ifedi added a big pass breakup early.

"The defense came out and set the tone," said Memphis head coach Justin Fuente. "But I thought the offense continued to battle back.

"For the first time in a scrimmage the defense stepped up and I am happy for that," Fuente added. "But I am also happy that the offense tried to make some plays. There was no winner or loser."

With forcing early three-and-outs to begin the scrimmage, Fuente said the defense was obviously the more physical unit to start the scrimmage.

"It took the offense a little while to get their feet on the ground and get their execution back," Fuente said. "It is disappointing because they have executed well all spring. For whatever reason, they were not as sharp as they have been."

After having to settle for three Jake Elliott field goals including a 52-yarder, the offense finally found the end zone when Keiwone Malone snared a 35-yard Paxton Lynch pass for a touchdown.



On the following series, junior college transfer quarterback Jason Stewart capped a scoring drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Jones with the offense facing fourth down. The scoring series included a pair of nine-yard catches by tight end Alan Cross and a 13-yard Sam Craft run.

Stewart also completed a 55-yard pass to freshman Kyle Wilson during the scrimmage.

"I thought as an offense we came out but not as ready to play as the defense," said Jones. "I felt as practice went on we battled back and grinded through it. That's when we started to show up."

As it has done the previous two weeks, the Tigers will practice next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday before heading into the final week of spring with just two practice dates slated including the spring game.

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