Navy recovered a Patrick Taylor fumble early in the fourth quarter Saturday in rainy Annapolis, Maryland, the pivotal play in erasing a 21-9 Memphis lead. Zach Abey's three-yard touchdown run with 2:40 to play proved to be the game-winner, giving Navy a significant win in the race for the American Athletic Conference's West Division title. A week after allowing 59 points in a loss at Hawaii, Navy dominated possession time (43:18) and held the Tigers to three Darrell Henderson
Henderson gave Memphis a 7-3 lead in the second quarter with his first score, a two-yard run. His 78-yard jaunt midway through the third quarter gave the Tigers a 14-9 lead and the junior All-America candidate raced 59 yards with 1:21 left in the third quarter to give Memphis that short-lived 21-9 advantage. Henderson finished the game with 212 rushing yards on just 13 carries, the first 200-yard game for a Tiger running back in nine years.
The Tigers committed four turnovers (three fumbles and a Brady White interception), contributing to the possession-time disparity. Navy ran 79 plays to the Tigers' 49 and the Tigers still outgained their hosts, 378 yards to 316.
Navy essentially owns a two-game lead over Memphis with the win, as any tie-breaker in conference play will now go to the Midshipmen.
The Tigers (1-1) return to the Liberty Bowl for their next game, Friday night against Georgia State. Their next AAC contest will be at Tulane on September 28th.