Football Kicks Off 2000 Season Against Mississippi State
Go Tigers! Junior quarterback Neil Suber leads the Tigers against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
Go Tigers!
Junior quarterback Neil Suber leads the Tigers against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
Go Tigers!

Sept. 1, 2000

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Next Game: Mississippi State, September 2, 2000
Site: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (62,380), Memphis, TN, 2:30 PM CDT
Radio: WMC AM 79 (Dave Woloshin, Bob Rush, Carrie Anderson)
2000 Season Record: 0-0
2000 Conference Record: 0-0
Last Meeting: Mississippi State 13, Memphis 10 (Starkville, MS, 1999)

Notes: The Tigers' 3-2 road record in 1999 marked the first winning road record since the 1983 season when Rex Dockery's team finished with a road record of 4-2 ... Memphis' five takeaways against Ole Miss in 1999 were the most by a Tiger team since 1998 ... Memphis' nine blocked kicks in 1999 tied Southern Miss for the second most in NCAA play ... Memphis tied for the 4th most improved team in the nation in 1999.

'00 Captains: selected on game-by-game basis

2000 SEASON OPENS Hopes are running high in the Memphis football camp as the Tigers prepare to open the 2000 college season against Mississippi State on September 2nd. The Tigers and the Bulldogs have opened the college season 10 times since the series began in 1951. The Bulldogs hold a 8-2 lead in season openers and a 27-11 lead in the overall series. Memphis gained its first ever SEC win against Mississippi State and that victory came in the 1962 season. The Tigers won three consecutive contests against MSU in the early 1960s but have not managed a victory since the 1993.

SCHERER GETS NEW CONTRACT Tiger head coach Rip Scherer received a contract extension on Tuesday, November 2, 1999, following the Memphis win over Tulane. Athletics director R.C. Johnson stated that the University administration had seen a great deal of improvement in the team and that Scherer had met or exceeded all but one of the criteria set down upon his hiring. His two year extension gives the 48-year old coach a full four year package, through 2003, in which to continue to rebuild the Tiger program.

TIGERS WERE 2nd IN NATION The University of Memphis special teams attained a lofty mark in the category of blocked kicks during the 1999 season. The block units registered nine blocks on the season and finished the season ranked in a tie for second in the nation. Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi had one blocked kick in the annual AXA Liberty Bowl against Colorado State to tie Memphis for second. The Nebraska Cornhuskers led the nation in blocked kicks with 10 during 1999.

TIGER DEFENSE EXCELS The University of Memphis defense, which was ranked last in Conference USA in 1998, finished the '99 season as the league's second ranked defense. The unit, which faced three SEC & a Big 12 bowl teams, including the defending national champion from last season, allowed just 314.1 yards per game as compared to 1998's figure of 455.3 per outing. The Tigers held Tennessee to just 44 yards rushing on the afternoon and 172 yards passing this past season. The defense has forced 22 turn- overs through 11 games, including three each against Tennessee and UAB.

KENDALL TOP TIGHT END University of Memphis senior tight end Billy Kendall has spent most of his career utilized as a blocker for running backs and quarterbacks. However, in be- tween the blocks, the 6'5 Kendall has man- aged to grab more pass receptions for more yards than any other tight end in Memphis football history. Entering his final season at the U of M, Kendall has caught 53 passes for 601 yards and four touchdowns. With 53 receptions the Maryland native is currently ranked 20th on the Tigers all-time reception list and is the only tight end to be listed among the school's top 25 pass receivers. His 601 yards ranks him first among all Memphis tight ends in yards receiving and his four touchdown catches ties him for first in career TD catches by a tight end. Rich Coady and Chris Powers also had four touchdown receptions as Tigers.

WHITE RECEIVES HONOR n Junior kicker Ryan White, who set several Memphis field goal records in 1999, was named to the 2000 Playboy All-America Team. The Georgia native became just the third Tiger player in school history to be named to the prestigious team. Former Ti- ger offensive tackle Harry Schuh was se- lected to the 1964 squad and All-American kicker Joe Allison received the honor in 1993. White's selection to the Playboy All- America team marked the third AA team that the soccer-styled kicker has been selected on in the past two seasons.

WHITE SETS MEMPHIS & C- USA MARK With four field goals made in the first half of the UAB game and a school record five made in the third period, Ryan White set the Memphis record for the most field goals made in a half, in a game, the most field goals attempted in a game and also set the record for the most points by a Tiger kicker in a game. He set a new Mem- phis record becoming the first Tiger in school history to kick four field goals in a half. White, who had booted four field goals in last year's Cincinnati game, shared the old Memphis single game record of four field goals with Joe Allison (1992 vs Ole Miss) and Rusty Bennett (1977 vs NTSU). His 16 points vs UAB broke the old record for points (15) by a kicker set by White in last year's Cincinnati game. His five field goals made also tied the Conference USA record for FGs in a game.

SUBER MAKES FAST ASCENT Memphis junior quarterback Neil Suber made a fast start in his climb up the chart of all-time Tiger passers. Starting the final four games of 1998, the Georgia na- tive threw for 930 yards and entered the 1999 season ranked 23rd in school history. Through the first three games of '99, Suber moved into 16th place and against Tennes- see he took a huge leap, surpassing four former Tigers. With his 222 yards passing last year against the Vols, Suber surpassed Joe Borich (1369), Rusty Trail (1370), Al Harvey (1405), and Russ Vollmer (1454). His 57 yards passing against Missouri moved Suber ahead of former Tiger Kevin Betts for 11th place.

TIGERS CREATING TURNOVERS The Tiger defense was able to force five turnovers, four fumble recoveries and an interception, against Mississippi in last year's season opener. The Tigers have forced at least one turnover in 61 of their last 69 games. Memphis has also intercepted pass in 39 of its last 60 contests but has not returned an interceptions for a touchdown since Scott Singler ran back a pick 55 yards against Arkansas State in 1994.

BLOCK PARTY Since 1990, Memphis' special teams have found a way to change the look of a game in a hurry. Over the last 119 punts, 12 field goals, 4 PAT) and has games, Memphis has blocked 42 kicks (26 blocked 22 punts in the last 78 contests. Under Scherer, the Tigers have blocked 20 kicks (10 punts, 6 field goal, 4 PATs). Mem- phis last blocked punt was by Quincy Stephenson against Southern Mississippi 1999. Memphis had three blocked kicks last season's Louisville game when Tramont Lawless and Michael Stone each knocked down field goal attempts and the team was credited with a block. Memphis again regis- tered three blocks in the last contest of the year. Lawless, Stone and nose tackle Marcus Bell had blocked kicks against Cin- cinnati in the season finale.

TIGER TIDBITS

  • Neil Suber started his 11th con- secutive game as a Tiger when he opened the 1999 Louisville game. The Georgia na- tive became Memphis' starter in the 1998 Arkansas State game and worked 11 con- secutive contest. However, he gave way quarterback Travis Anglin on the third se- ries of last year's Louisville contest. Anglin made his first collegiate in the Louisiana Superdome against Tulane last season.

  • Neil Suber's 930 yards passing 1998 marked the most yards passing by Tiger freshman in the history of the school.

  • Over the past seven years, Memphis has a record of 35-9 when leading the half.

  • The Memphis Tigers had seven players named to Lindy's Football Magazine Preseason All-Conference USA Team. Tabbed on the first unit were offensive tackle Artis Hicks, nose tackle Marcus Bell, line- backer Kamal Shakir, safety Idrees Bashir and All-American kicker Ryan White. Offen- sive tackle DeCorye Hampton and strong safety Fred Powell were named to the second team.

  • Tiger fullback Darche' Epting had his first career blocked kick in last year's Mississippi State game. The block, which came in the third quarter, was recovered by receiver Derrick Harmon and led to Memphis score.

  • Tiger linebacker Kamal Shakir was named to The Sporting News Freshman All- America Team in 1997. His first team selec- tion by TSN was the first by a rookie Tiger in the school's history. He is a preseason All-Conference USA selection at linebacker this year.

  • The U of M may have the most talented defensive secondary the squad has fielded since the 1970s. Four starters re- turn for the 2000 season including pre- season All-Conference USA selection Idrees Bashir at free safety. Joining Bashir are corners Marcus Smith and Michael Stone and strong safety Glenn Sumter. Stone is the only senior starting in the secondary.

  • Ryan White's 52-yard field goal against Cincinnati in 1998 tied for the long- est field goal made in Memphis history. The record was shared by Luis Tejada (vs Ole Miss, 1994) and Don Glosson (vs Florida State, 1985). The kick was White's first 50 plus yard attempt of his career.

  • Placekicker Ryan White set sev- eral Memphis kicking records during his freshman season in 1998. He booted 16 consecutive field goals setting a new Memphis benchmark. The old Tiger record for consecutive field goals was 15 by former kicker Don Glosson (1983-85). Glosson booted his 15 consecutive FGs in 1994.

  • The Memphis defense finished the 1999 season ranked 23rd in the nation in total defense and 11th in scoring defense.

  • The University of Memphis will have six graduates playing for the squad this season. That number tied the Univer- sity for third in the nation for number of stu- dents in graduate school.

  • Dernice Wherry, who came to Memphis as an all-state tailback, was moved to outside linebacker in the fall of 1999. He was credited with three tackles in the Ole Miss game and finished the season with 11 total tackles including a season high four stops in the Tulane win. Now the speedy Wherry has been moved back to his old spot in the Memphis offensive backfield. The Munford, TN, native was impressive in fall camp and rushed for two touchdowns in the first fall scrimmage.

  • Freshman quarterback Matt Adams, the grandson of former Tiger head coach Fred Pancoast, entered fall camp not fully recovered from shoulder surgery in May of 2000. He participated in fall camp but due to a lack of rehabilitation time, has decided to return to his home in Pensacola, FL. Adams will return to Memphis in Janu- ary to begin his college career.

  • Linebacker Kamal Shakir's 16 tackle effort against Ole Miss marked the seventh time in his career that the Georgia native logged double-digit tackles. Shakir totaled eight double-digit games in 1999 and has 14 career games with ten or more total hits. His all-time single game high is a 20 tackle (12 solos & eight assist) effort against Army in 1999.

  • Memphis quarterback Travis Anglin completed his first career pass attempt when he hit true freshman Casey Rooney for a first down to move the team from the shad- ows of its own goal post against Mississippi State in 1999.

  • Freshman quarterback Travis Anglin threw his first career touchdown pass against Arkansas State in 1999. During fourth quarter action, Anglin connected with former wide receiver Damien Dodson for a 32-yard touchdown.

  • Junior tight end Billy Kendall has a personal best six pass receptions (for 66 yards) in a single game. He accomplished the feat in the Tigers win over Arkansas State in 1999. Kendall's 66 yards versus ASU ranks as the third highest of his career. His top career yardage performance came in the '99 finale when he had 78 yards receiv- ing against Cincinnati.

  • Tiger tailback Sugar Sanders has had two starts in his brief career and both resulted in wins for the Tigers. In his first collegiate start Sanders rushed for 94 yards against Arkansas State. It was just his sec- ond collegiate game and his first extended playing time. Sanders was called on to start the UAB game in Birmingham and re- sponded by scoring his first career touch- down.

  • Two Tiger defensive backs re- corded their first career pass interceptions in the Tigers win over Arkansas State in 1999. Cornerback Michael Stone, now a senior starter, had his first interception in the opening quarter. The former walk-on grabbed a Cleo Lemon pass at the Tiger six yard line to stop a possible ASU scoring drive. In the fourth stanza, senior safety Fred Powell picked off a Lemon pass and returned it 23 yards. Both are back for the 2000 season.

  • Tiger quarterback Travis Anglin scored his first career touchdown on a one yard run against Mississippi State in 1999. The scoring drive was setup by a blocked punt by the Tiger special teams player Darche Epting.
     

     

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