The Tigers had an all-too-rare two-score lead this afternoon in Huntington, West Virginia, but gave up 21 unanswered points in the second half and lost to Marshall, 28-13. The loss drops Memphis to 1-9, while the Thundering Herd — now on a three-game winning streak — improves to 4-6.
Tiger quarterback Ryan Williams connected with Jermain McKenzie for a 43-yard touchdown pass just over five minutes into the game, and Paulo Henriques converted a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Memphis a 10-0 halftime lead. But Marshall scored two touchdowns within two minutes in the third quarter — the second after a Williams fumble was recovered by the Herd — to take a 14-10 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
After allowing more than 500 yards to each of its last four opponents, the Tiger defense toughened some this afternoon, holding Marshall to a total of 379 yards. DeRon Furr had the first Tiger interception in over a month, and Memphis forced six Marshall punts. But the Tiger offense sputtered, gaining a total of 242 yards and converting only four of 14 third-down opportunities. Williams completed 14 of 32 passes for 201 yards and no interceptions. McKenzie caught six of those passes for 109 yards. Memphis was led on the ground by Greg Ray, with 64 yards on 15 carries.
Marshall quarterback Brian Anderson completed 20 of 28 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers travel to Birmingham next Saturday to face UAB before wrapping up the season at the Liberty Bowl (against UCF) on November 27th.