The Memphis Tigers got off to a slow start when they hosted the Southern Jaguars. The heat could have had an effect – Southern Head Coach Dawson Odums commented about the heat and how it took a toll on his team in the second half.
The Tigers have adapted to different styles in the first two weeks of the season. Against Ole Miss, the Tigers were a conservative offense and relied on the defense to win. Against Southern, QB Brady White showed greatness, throwing for more than 300 yards.
Here are some of the takeaways from the Memphis vs Southern game:
No Patrick, No Problem
Star RB Patrick Taylor sat out the game against Southern and was spotted on the sideline with a boot and crutches. Taylor is expected to miss multiple weeks and may be back for the Navy game on September 26.
In Taylor’s absence, Kenny Gainwell took the ball and ran with it. Gainwell rushed for 85 yards and scored two touchdowns. The Tigers outrushed the Jaguars 177 to 168. Memphis had four rushing touchdowns in the game. Kylan Watkins made his Tigers debut and rushed for 35 yards and scored a touchdown. Freshman Rodrigues Clark also got some action and rushed for his first career touchdown.
Brady White threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers had 11 different receivers to catch passes in the game. Conner Adair got a chance to play in the fourth quarter. Adair got to play with some of the starters and was not in there to hand the football off to a running and showed some flashes.
The Memphis defense got a lot of credit in the win over Ole Miss. Memphis gave up an opening drive touchdown and a 10-minute 17-play drive in the first half against Southern. In the second half, the defense only gave up 15 total yards.
Blake Sanchez led the way with seven tackles including six solo tackles. La’Andre Thomas was second with six tackles. Thomas missed most of the Ole Miss game after being ejected for a targeting call. The Tigers had seven tackles for losses and caused two sacks.
Special teams Special
The Tigers blocked a Southern punt and returned it for a touchdown. Clark, who also saw action on special teams, had a chance to block the first punt of game, but somehow just ran right past the punter. Clark was successful on his second block attempt.
The Tigers make their first road trip on Sat. Sept. 14 at 2:30 CT as they travel to Mobile, Alabama to play the University of South Alabama Jaguars. The game can be seen on ESPNU. This is the second ever meeting between the two schools. Memphis won last season at the Liberty Bowl. 52-35.
Check out Coach Mike Norvell’s latest news conference here: