A maligned Memphis defense took a staggering blow on the third play from scrimmage in tonight's game in East Hartford, Connecticut. UConn tailback Arkeel Newsome took the ball around left tackle and dashed 64 yards for a touchdown to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead just 76 seconds after kickoff.
Then Riley Ferguson
and Anthony Miller
Ferguson (the senior quarterback) threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns while Miller (the senior wide receiver) caught 12 passes for 157 yards and three scores . . . in the first half. The Tigers' record-breaking duo — growing larger on the national radar with ESPN handling the broadcast — led Memphis to a 35-24 halftime lead, then connected again in the third quarter to extend the Tiger lead to 49-24.
Ferguson sat out the fourth quarter and still tied Paxton Lynch's single-game record with seven touchdown passes. He completed 34 of 48 passes for 431 yards. As for Miller, the Christian Brothers High School alum tied his own school record with 15 receptions (good for 224 yards). His four touchdown catches are yet another Memphis record for Miller.
A week after being embarrassed at UCF, the Tiger offense exploded for 711 yards, a new U of M record. The Tigers won comfortably despite allowing 477 yards to Connecticut, the fourth time in five games Memphis has allowed at least 400 yards. Freshman cornerback T.J. Carter
pulled down his third interception of the season in the second quarter.
Senior tailback Doroland Dorceus
enjoyed his first productive game of the season (having nursed an injury throughout September), rushing for 122 yards on 22 carries and scoring two touchdowns.
The win improves Memphis to 4-1 for the season and 1-1 in American Athletic Conference play. The Huskies drop to 1-4 (0-3). The Tigers return home next Saturday (October 14th) to host Navy at the Liberty Bowl. The Midshipmen beat Memphis in both 2015 (45-20) and 2016 (42-28).