Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tigers 51, SMU 7

Posted By on Sat, Nov 5, 2016 at 6:21 PM

The Memphis Tigers are going bowling a third consecutive season. In thoroughly ruining SMU's homecoming today in Dallas, the Tigers earned their sixth win of the season and ended a two-game losing streak. Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson threw for 288 yards and four touchdowns (all of them in the first half) and junior wide receiver Anthony Miller followed up his record-breaking game last week against Tulsa with 102 yards and two touchdowns against the Mustangs.
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The win improves the Tigers to 6-3 for the season (3-2 in the American Athletic Conference), while SMU falls to 4-5 (2-3), its two-game winning streak having ended with a thud.

The Tigers scored a pair of touchdowns in the game's first five minutes, the first a 50-yard Ferguson-to-Miller connection, followed by a four-yard toss from Ferguson to reserve tight end Joey Magnifico. After SMU closed within seven points (14-7), Darrell Henderson set a new Memphis record with a 99-yard kickoff return, the Tigers' third such touchdown this season after going nearly 20 years without one. Ferguson hit tight end Daniel Montiel and Miller for second-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach by halftime, 38-7.

Memphis rolled up 474 yards of offense for the game while holding the Mustangs to 305, the best defensive showing for the Tigers since a win over Bowling Green on September 24th. The Tigers forced three turnovers and sacked SMU quarterback Ben Hicks three times. (Memphis entered the game with seven sacks on the entire season.) Doroland Dorceus led the Tiger ground game with 77 yards rushing and a touchdown, the 22nd of his career.

The Tigers return to the Liberty Bowl next Saturday to face USF, a contender for the AAC championship. The Bulls are 7-2 (4-1) and enjoyed a bye this week. Memphis now has the luxury of finishing a rugged schedule — against USF, Cincinnati, and Houston — without bowl eligibility in the balance.

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