Saturday, October 1, 2011

Middle Tennessee 38, Tigers 31

Posted By on Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Middle Tennessee quarterback Logan Kilgore hit receiver Anthony Amos on a post pattern from 33 yards out — with 11 seconds to play — for a game-winning touchdown tonight in Murfreesboro. The 38-31 loss leaves Memphis with a record of 1-4.

The Tigers took a 17-0 lead on a keeper by freshman quarterback Taylor Reed early in the second quarter. The touchdown ended a 69-yard drive, which was seven yards shorter than the first Memphis touchdown drive (Billy Foster scored from seven yards out).

Middle Tennessee answered, though, with 17 straight points, tying the game with 3:16 to play in the third quarter on a 36-yard pass from Kilgore to Malcolm Beyah. Tied at 17 entering the final period, the two teams combined to score 35 points in 15 minutes.

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Foster scored his second touchdown of the night on an option pitch from Reed with 7:53 to play to give the Tigers a 24-17 lead. Only 34 seconds later, the Blue Raiders’ D.D. Kyles ran through the Tiger defense and down the right sideline for a 59-yard score that tied the game at 24.

After forcing the Memphis offense to punt, Middle Tennessee took the ball into Tiger territory and scored on what could have been a break for the visitors. Blue Raider running back William Pratcher gained 11 yards from the Memphis 20, only to fumble on a hit by Memphis linebacker Akeem Davis. But the ball rolled into the end zone and was recovered by Beyah for a touchdown that gave the Blue Raiders a 31-24 lead with 3:14 to play.

Five straight completions by Reed helped tie the game for Memphis, the touchdown coming on a 23-yard toss to Keiwone Malone just inside the front pylon on the right side of the end zone. (Reed completed 25 of 32 passes for 230 yards.)

With the game knotted at 31, Middle Tennessee drove more than 90 yards for the winning touchdown, Amos hauling in the decisive pass with no Tiger defensive back within five yards.

The Tiger offense gained 395 yards, but the defense allowed 477 to a Middle Tennessee team that entered the game 0-3. Nine different Raider receivers caught passes for at least 10 yards, while Kyles led the way on the ground with 105 yards on 15 carries.

Memphis travels to Houston next week to face the Rice Owls in its second Conference USA game of the season.

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