by University of Memphis
DALLAS – Memphis (1-7, 1-3 C-USA) was unable to stop SMU (4-4, 3-1 C-USA) late in the game as the Mustangs reeled off 28 unanswered points to record a 44-13 victory over the Tigers at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.
After a three-and-out on its first possession of the game, SMU lit up the scoreboard on its following drive by tacking on a 39-yard field goal at the 6:25 mark in the first quarter after a 9-play, 66-yard drive. The Mustang defense continued to hold strong, forcing a 52-yard Tom Hornsey punt, which was returned 59 yards by SMU’s Kenneth Acker to the Memphis 5. One play later, the Mustangs increased their lead with a rushing touchdown by Zach line to put them up 10-0 with 4:14 remaining in the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, a Memphis fumble at the Tigers 18-yard line gave SMU good field position, setting up a 30-yard field goal for the Mustangs to give them a 13-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
After a 24-yard pass from Jacob Karam to a wide-open Alan Cross, Memphis put up its first points of the game with a 36-yard touchdown run by Brandon Hayes to cut the score to 13-7 with 10:41 remaining in the half.
SMU marched down the field on the next possession, reaching the Memphis 5 before the Tigers defense pushed the Mustang offense back to the 15 to set up another field goal for SMU. With 5:40 left in the second quarter, SMU’s Chase Hover connected on his third field goal for over 30 yards on the day to make it 16-7 SMU.
After being forced to punt, Memphis got another chance to put more points on the board as Anthony Brown recovered a SMU fumble at the Mustang 34 with 1:59 on the clock. The Tigers gained seven yards before Paulo Henriques connected on a 45-yard field goal to cut the SMU lead to 16-10 going into the half.
Karam and Jai Steib led the charge for the Tigers to begin the second half before the SMU defense halted the Tigers at the Mustang 21-yard line. Memphis was forced to a field goal with Tyler Spurlock booting a 39-yarder for a 16-13 score with 8:20 left in the third quarter.
In SMU’s opening second half possession, Martin Ifedi showed his presence by sacking quarterback Garrett Gilbert for a 2-yard loss to begin the drive. The next play, Gilbert connected with Darius Johnson for 70 yards to give the Mustangs the ball on the Memphis 7. On third-and-goal, Gilbert gave the Mustangs a 23-13 lead with a 2-yard touchdown run at the 5:44 mark in the third quarter.
SMU took control of the game in the fourth quarter as Gilbert added a 10-yard touchdown run with 10:57 remaining in the game to put the Mustangs up 30-13. After a quick three-and-out by the Tigers, a Gilbert 37-yard touchdown pass to Der’rikk Thompson on the first play from scrimmage increased the SMU lead to 37-13 with just over nine minutes left in the game. With time winding down in the game, SMU capped off the win as Rishaad Wimbley ran four yards into the endzone to give the Mustangs a 44-13 victory.
The Tigers will head to Huntington, W.Va., Saturday, Nov. 3 when they face Marshall at 1 p.m. CT.