Memphis proved its No. 21 ranking is well deserved, as the Tigers dominated on offense and defense in a 41-14 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Friday night at H.A. Chapman Stadium. A crowd of 17,383, sat in the cold and wind, but many didn’t stay to the end.
The Tigers scored first with 6:46 left in the first quarter, when Riley Ferguson threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Henderson.
Tulsa tied the game on a 10-yard TD run by Luke Skipper with 2:48 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers took the lead less than two minutes later on a 59-yard touchdown pass play from Ferguson to Tony Pollard, and Memphis led 14-7 after the first quarter.
Tulsa responded right at the start of the second quarter with a seven-yard touchdown run by Chad President, to tie the score.
The Tigers’ Ferguson threw his third touchdown pass of the game to Anthony Miller, an 18-yard strike, with 6:42 left in the second quarter, and Memphis held a 21-14 lead at halftime.
Memphis continued their dominance in the second half, scoring on a one-yard run by Patrick Taylor, then Riley Patterson kicked a 33-yard field goal to put Memphis ahead, 31-14, at the end of the third quarter.
The Tigers’ Ferguson threw another touchdown pass and Patterson kicked another field goal in the fourth quarter.
“Tough game; I thought we played pretty well in the first half,” said Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery after the game. “We’ve got to be more consistent. Obviously, we came out in the second half and didn’t quite play as well. We’ve got to do more offensively in the second half.”
Montgomery said his team needs to do a better job preparing and playing a full game.
“We had opportunities in there to do some things that we didn’t take advantage of, and we’ve got to step up and make plays,” Montgomery said. “I’ve got to do a better job coaching, and we’ve got to come out and do a better job in the second half.”
D’Angelo Brewer went over 1,000 yards on the season for the second straight year. He surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau on a 30-yard run in the first quarter, and became the fifth player in school history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Brewer was asked after the game to evaluate Tulsa’s offensive performance.
“As an offense, we need to be better,” he said. “As a group, that is really it. We need to be on the same page and work as a group at a really high level. We practice hard every week and guys know what to do. We just need to come in here and execute.”
Tulsa (2-8, 1-5 AAC) finished with 302 total yards, but had only 59 yards in the second half. Memphis (8-1, 5-1 AAC) racked up 524 yards of total offense for the game, including 333 passing yards and 191 yards on the ground.
With only two games left on the schedule, the Golden Hurricane would just like to win out.
“Our goals don’t change,” Montgomery said. “I mean, for us, we’re trying to go 1-0 every week and so we’ve got another opportunity here pretty quick. You know, our opportunity is to step on the field and play as good as we can play, and play consistently for 60 minutes and keep fighting for 60 minutes and try to be 1-0 for that week. That’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
Tulsa will have the week off before playing at The University of South Florida on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Central time. The Golden Hurricane will finish the season at home on Nov. 25 against Temple.