USF started strong but could not keep it going to knock off Memphis
Memphis stated the game off with the ball and quickly went to work. The first play was 12 yard pass from Paxton Lynch to Mose Frazier. The defense stayed focus and was able to get out the drive without giving a score. Punter Spencer Smith pinned USF on their own 5 yard line and seems to put his defense in a good position. The Bulls offense was clicking on all cylinders. The two-headed monster consisting of Marlon Mack and Darius Tice were unstoppable at times as they picked up runs of 7 or more yards consistently. Quinton Flowers added 27 yards when he connected with sure handed Sean Price to put the Bulls in scoring position. Darius Tice capped the 95 yard drive off with the 1 yard touchdown run. Memphis LB Wynton McManis stated “It’s frustrating as a defense, the team comes out and runs the ball, that’s like a slap in the face. We just had to bear down and tighten up, come on and bring it.”
The second quarter started with Emilio Nadelman adding 3 points on a 31 yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead for the Bulls. Bull’s fan were dancing and having a good time. The Tigers were given great field position after Jae’Lon Oglesby returned the ball to the 50 yard line. The drive was about to stall on 3rd and 11 when Paxon Lynch connected with Jae’Lon Oglesby for 18 yards gain. the next play Paxton found Sam Craft for the 20 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 3 points. The score at halftime was 10-7.
Memphis started the 3rd quarter off with recovering the onside kick but was not able to capitalize. Their next possession the Tigers had success in the ground game. On 3rd and 3 Jae’Lon Oglesby ripped a 16 yard run that may have made the defense mad. The Bulls pinned their ears back and came after Paxton Lynch which resulted in a sack. “Our defense played with fanatical effort. We did a great job of getting to the ball, did a great job of getting to Paxton Lynch. I thought that was a big key where he wasnt as comfortable as he had been all season and they did a fantastic job,” stated Coach Willie Taggart
Memphis did get 3 point out the drive when Jake Elliott booted the 49 yard field goal. Memphis added two more touchdown and were in control 24-10 with 10:31 in the 4th quarter to go. USF added another score when Quinton Flowers found Elkanah Dillon but it was only 1:48 left in the game. The onside kick did not work but the Bull’s defense was able to hold and get the ball back. USF would need some big plays to go 92 yards in 44 seconds. The comeback died when Reggis Ball came down with the ball for the interception. Bulls lose 24-17 and Memphis stays perfect on the year.
Memphis head coach Justin Fuente on the win.
“We switched up a few coverage deals, and then played better. They can run now, I mean just standing there on the sidelines, they’ve got receivers, and that running back. The speed that they carry on the field is frightening at times, and they got around the edge a few times on us, but our defensive staff did a great job adjusting, some coverage things so we could get some hats in support and it paid off.”