Saturday, November 16, 2019

#18 Tigers 45, Houston 27

Posted By on Sat, Nov 16, 2019 at 6:03 PM

Memphis quarterback Brady White tossed five touchdown passes (to four different receivers) to lead the 18th-ranked Tigers to a comeback throttling of the Houston Cougars Saturday afternoon in Texas. After falling behind 17-7 in the first quarter, the Tigers took a 28-20 lead into halftime, then pulled away in the third quarter to improve to 9-1 on the season and 5-1 in the American Athletic Conference. Houston falls to 3-7 (1-5).
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The Tigers trailed until late in the second quarter when White ran 14 yards for a touchdown to give Memphis a 21-20 lead. He then connected with Calvin Austin for a 16-yard score with 37 seconds left in the quarter. Two more White touchdown passes — six yards to Antonio Gibson and 28 yards to Damonte Coxie — put the game out of reach in the third quarter.

The victory gives Memphis a four-game winning streak over the Cougars for the first time in a series that began in 1963 and became annual with the creation of the AAC in 2013. The Tigers retain possession of first place in the AAC's West Division with two regular-season games left on the schedule.

White completed 22 of 33 passes for 341 yards and the five touchdowns (with one interception) before yielding to reserve Connor Adair in the third quarter. Freshman tailback Kenneth Gainwell rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries. (Senior Patrick Taylor returned for his first game since the season-opener. He gained 14 yards on five carries.) Coxie caught four passes for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Gibson matched his yardage and catch totals with one touchdown.

The win clinches a winning decade for the Memphis program for the first time since the 1970s, an accomplishment made especially impressive considering the Tigers won only three of their first 24 games of the 2010s.

The Tigers travel to USF to play the Bulls next Saturday before hosting Cincinnati in the regular-season finale at the Liberty Bowl on November 29th. Should Memphis win both games, the Tigers will host the AAC championship game on December 7th.

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