After trading touchdowns with Tulsa over the game's first 18 minutes, the 22nd-ranked Memphis Tigers pulled away for one of their easier wins of the season Friday night in Oklahoma. Senior quarterback Riley Ferguson
completed 27 of 39 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns (giving him 27 for the season) to give Memphis its fifth straight win and improve the Tigers' record to 8-1 and 5-1 in American Athletic Conference play. Tulsa drops to 2-8 (1-5).
The victory sets up a chance for Memphis to clinch the AAC's West Division with a win against SMU on November 18th at the Liberty Bowl. (The Tigers have a bye next week.)
Ferguson connected with sophomore running back Darrell Henderson
for a 17-yard touchdown to open the scoring on the Tigers' second possession of the game. Another sophomore, Tony Pollard
, carried a short reception 59 yards into the end zone between a pair of Golden Hurricane scoring drives as the teams played to a 14-14 tie midway through the second quarter. But an 18-yard strike from Ferguson to senior wideout Anthony Miller
made it 21-14, Tigers, with 6:49 to play before halftime and Memphis never looked back. With 46 receiving yards, Miller became the first player in Tiger history to pass 3,000 career yards through the air.
Sophomore Patrick Taylor
scored on a fourth-down, one-yard plunge after a six-minute drive to give the Tigers a 28-14 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers' fifth touchdown came on a Ferguson-to-Damonte Coxie
touchdown pass of nine yards in the fourth quarter. Freshman kicker Riley Patterson
converted a pair of field goals to help give the Tigers their sixth 40-point game of the season.
The Memphis defense held Tulsa to 145 yards rushing, more than 100 yards under the Golden Hurricane's average. Henderson led the Tiger ground game with 123 yards. The Tigers outgained Tulsa, 525 total yards to 302. Nine different Tiger receivers gained yardage via the passing game, topped by senior Phil Mayhue
with four catches for 74 yards.
With the victory, Memphis clinched a fourth straight eight-win season, a streak matched only once before in the program's history (1960-63).