The Tigers' Loss to UAB Was Costly 

The Tigers' Loss to UAB Was Costly

If last week’s win over East Carolina was one of the biggest wins in Tiger football history, Saturday’s loss at UAB has to be one of the most disappointing. Here’s why: * Memphis failed, once again, to build momentum after a significant victory. Tiger football could have taken a great stride towards football respectability with a follow-up win after the East Carolina game. They could be 5-2 going into this weekend’s homecoming game against Houston. Instead they lost to a team that didn’t even play football until six years ago. * For the second game in a row, the Tigers' all-Conference placekicker, Ryan White, had a field goal blocked. East Carolina blocked two the week before and Memphis has suffered five blocked field goals this year. For a team with as little punch as the Memphis offense, to waste a scoring machine like White is inexcusable. Even the worst teams in college football can kick field goals. Memphis has had this problem since the second game of the year. And they have not fixed it. “Obviously that’s coaching. The responsibility falls on me,” said a dejected Rip Scherer after the game. “That’s embarrassing, it’s just plain embarrassing.” * The special teams made plenty of other mistakes besides the blocked field goal. None was more critical than the penalty flag on the fourth quarter kickoff after UAB had taken the lead with a touchdown. Ryan Johnson took the ball one yard deep in the end zone, and ran it back 101 yards for an apparent touchdown. But a penalty flag nullified the run and Memphis never challenged again. * The offense was again inept, gaining negative yardage in the crucial fourth quarter. The offensive line, which had played so well the week before, was completely dominated by the Blazer defensive line. Scott Scherer rarely had time to throw and the Memphis running backs could only manage 57 yards on 35 carries. The offense hasn’t gotten better. In fact, based on the results at UAB, it may have gotten worse. * Memphis again fell apart in the fourth quarter, letting a 9-3 lead turn into a 13-9 defeat. While the Memphis offense went backwards, UAB had 52 rushing yards and 38 yards passing and, most importantly, 10 points in the final period. It was the third consecutive game that the Tigers failed to score in the fourth period. Memphis has been outscored an astonishing 68 to 22 in the fourth period this year. * It was another missed opportunity. In 1996, after beating Tennessee, the Tigers lost the next game. Now with a big win over East Carolina, Memphis lost a winnable game and failed in one of Scherer’s missions: to win over the hearts and minds of the Memphis sports fans. Missed opportunities are the theme of the six-year Scherer tenure. The coach was right. It is his fault. The buck stops with him. His team wasn’t ready to play and they seemingly have not gotten better as the season had progressed. Rip Scherer is a man who takes his job personally. He must have had a long, miserable trip home from Birmingham. (You can write Dennis Freeland at

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Music Blog

Love Story

Hungry Memphis

All-Star Chef Lineup to Celebrate Andrew Michael's 10th

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Brennan Villines

News Blog

Explore Bike Share Expands to Mud Island

From My Seat

The USFL: When Pro Football Was Fun

Tiger Blue

Tigers 52, South Alabama 35

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Let's Do The Time Warp Drive-In With John Waters

Intermission Impossible

Hattiloo Puts the School-to-Prison Pipeline in the Spotlight

News Blog

Female Population On the Rise at Shelby County Jail


More by Dennis Freeland

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation