University of Memphis quarterback Brady White keeps saying that he is all about team as accolades continue to come his way. Such was the case, again, last Saturday as the Tigers found a way to turn back the University of South Florida (34-33) at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
White put the team on his senior shoulders and scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game to secure the win. He finished with 437 passing yards and 5 touchdowns.
The victory made White the winningest quarterback at Memphis. His 24 wins moved him past Lloyd Patterson (1975-78). White also tied Danny Wimprine for most passing touchdowns in a career with 81. He is only 777 yards from become the all-time passing leader in the school’s history.
“It is a great to have the number of wins in program history, but the number isn’t what matters,” said White. “It’s the winning that matters. That’s what I’m all about, and that’s what this team is all about.
“I’m glad we got it done, but it’s not me,” he said. “My name gets the credit and that’s awesome, but if only people knew half of how much goes into a win and how many people are involved in our program and on our staff. That is for everyone, not just me.”
White was named the AAC Offensive player of the week for the third time this season.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon for a football game, the Tigers played host to the Bulls in front of 10,300 fans, who saw Calvin Austin continue to impress. Austin had 102 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner with 1:06 left to play. He tied Anthony Miller for consecutive 100-yard games.
The Tigers have won 13 straight home games, which is a program record (previously Nov. 25, 2016-Oct. 3, 2018). The current streak began with a 47-21 win against Tulsa on Nov. 10, 2018. The Tigers have won 25 of their last 26 games at home.
Memphis turned in an energy-filled performance in the fourth quarter. The defense only allowed the Bulls three points in the frame while scoring 14 points in a five-minute span.
“We like to keep things interesting around here,” said Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield. “You can call us the cardiac cats. I don’t know how talented we are, but we fight.”
On why the team was different in the fourth quarter, Silverfield said, “I have been searching all year. I hope it does not take us to the fourth quarter to wake up. I do not know what it is. I know they are willing to fight and I will take that. We have got to find a way to start faster.”
Maligned much of the season, the Memphis defense played one of its better games of the season, allowing 27 points. Most of the points were associated with having to defend a short field after the Tigers’ offense did not convert on fourth down.
Memphis only allowed the Bulls 330 total yards – the fewest number of yards the unit has allowed this season. Quindell Johnson again was the leading tackler for the Tigers with 7 tackles. Memphis had 3 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.
An honor for Dykes
Sean Dykes was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll. Dykes had seven receptions for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns. He is the third tight end in Memphis history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards and is only 40 yards behind Joey Magnifico’s program record for the position.
Dykes ranks No1 nationally among tight ends in third down catches (12) and yards (212). His six touchdowns catches are No. 1 in the AAC and tied for second nationally at his position.
Memphis was scheduled to travel to Annapolis, MD to play the always tough Naval Academy and the triple-opposition offense. Those plans were scrapped after the American Athletic Conference announced the game has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases at the Naval Academy and the ensuing contact tracing of student-athletes. Memphis and Navy do not share a common open date through the rest of the 2020 season. The AAC reportedly will consider a number of options about playing the game at a later date.