Memphis rolls over UConn 70-31: Four Things To Know

Tigers move to 4-1 (1-1 American)

October 07, 2017 - 12:29 am

The Memphis Tigers exploded for 711 yards in a 70-31 bounce back victory over UConn in Hartford, CT Friday night. The psychology of this team was in question after being throttled by UCF last week in Orlando but they responded in a major way. Memphis moved to 4-1 (1-1 AAC) on the season. Tigers will face Navy next week in an important American (west) matchup. 

Here are my four things from the Memphis win: 

Ferguson bounces back

Senior QB Riley Ferguson described his three-interception performance in the Tigers 40-13 loss vs. UCF as "his worst in a Memphis uniform." Ferguson bounced back this week with a video game like performance vs. UCONN. He finished with a career high 34 completions, 431 yards and seven touchdown passes which tied Paxton Lynch's record for most touchdowns in a single game. The most impressive number in Riley's box score though was 0 interceptions. Ferguson's decision making with the football was much improved from last week. He threw the ball away when pressured and took the deep shots when the UConn defense opened up. UConn is statically the worst pass defense in FBS but for Ferguson it's a nice confidence booster headed into next week vs. Navy. 

Too Much Laundry

Memphis dominated on the scoreboard, but the penalties still seem to be a problem. Only 21 teams in FBS average more penalties per game than Memphis. They didn't help that number Friday night with 12 penalties totaling up to 104 yards. Limiting penalties will be a determining factor of how the rest of the season shapes for Memphis as they move into the key part of their conference schedule starting next week vs. Navy. 

Two Words: Miller Time 

Anthony Miller turned the game vs. UConn into his own personal highlight film. Whether it was using one-hand on the run or contorting his body mid-air to make a catch over a defender, Miller showcased the tools that have him slated as a legitimate NFL talent. The UConn defense had no response for Miller as he finished with 15 catches, 224 yards and single-game school record four touchdowns. Call it premature but it looks like the Ferguson/Miller connection is back. 

Third Down Emphasis 

This season, the Memphis defense has struggled to get off the field on 3rd down. They rank among the worse in nation in that category. Tonight, was a different story. The Tigers defense held UConn to just 2 for 11 on 3rd down which helped the Memphis offense dominate the time of possession. There are still problems along the Memphis defensive unit but tonight they were opportunistic forcing three UConn turnovers. The injury bug bit Memphis early but the young players have been fighting to improve. Communication, and tackling will need to be better if the Tigers have a chance to stop the Navy triple-option attack next week.

- Devin Walker 92.9 ESPN


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