The Memphis Tigers went into Saturday’s game against the UConn Huskies with one thing in mind, winning at least a share of the American Athletic Conference title.
On the other hand, UConn was looking to play spoiler and gain some momentum heading into the final week of games and the offseason.
Well it turned out that Memphis was the better team on Saturday as they took advantage of UConn mistakes as they went on to a 41-10 win in front of 35,102 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN
The Huskies drop to 2-9 (1-6 American) while the Tigers improve to 9-3 (7-1 American).
“We just have some young guys on the perimeter that were exposed a little bit,” said UConn head coach Bob Diaco. “But they fought and they battled, they were just a little bit handsy, and they were game-changing penalties.”
For the most part, the Huskies didn’t play badly at all. There were some questionable play calls but Ron Johnson ran the ball with the authority behind the constantly improving offensive line.
As Diaco would say, they need to continue to eliminate the things that cause losing like pass interference penalties, pre-snap penalties, missed chip shot field goals.
Look, this UConn team might not be good right now but you can see what Diaco is doing is starting to take shape. And as these younger players get more mature, you should see less and less of plays that cause losing and more that create winning moments.
Until then, everyone needs to be patient.
MEM – 4:59 –Jake Elliott 21 Yd Field Goal
MEM – 0:44 – Jake Elliott 22 Yd Field Goal
CON – 0:03 – Bobby Puyol 45 Yd Field Goal
MEM – 7:36 – Keiwone Malone 9 Yd pass from Paxton Lynch (Jake Elliott Kick)
MEM – 3:15 – Tevin Jones 12 Yd pass from Paxton Lynch (Jake Elliott Kick)
MEM – 0:53 – Phil Mayhue 21 Yd pass from Paxton Lynch (Jake Elliott Kick
CON – 12:22 – Arkeel Newsome 39 Yd pass from Tim Boyle (Bobby Puyol Kick)
MEM – 5:09 – Jarvis Cooper 1 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick
Offensive Players of the Game:
Memphis QB Paxton Lynch was 22-of-41 for 194 yards and four touchdowns. He also had nine runs for 40 yards.
Defensive Player of the Game:
UConn S Andrew Adams had 13 tackles including 12 solo.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
To me I think Bobby Puyol’s missed chip shot field goal in the second period was a big turning point. At that point, UConn was moving the ball very easily down the field and was only trailing 6-0. Had he made it, it would have been 6-3 and there’s no telling how the game would have turned out.
Tim Boyle made his second consecutive start and was 12-of-24 for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble. Ron Johnson had 22 carries for 67 yards while Max DeLorenzo had five carries for 37 yards and two catches for 18 yards. Geremy Davis had five catches for 62 yards while Noel Thomas had four catches for 41 yards. Arkeel Newsome’s only catch was good for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Andrew Adams led the way for UConn with 13 tackles. Obi Melifonwu had eight tackles and a pass breakup. Jhavon Williams had six tackles and a pass breakup. Cole Ormsby had the only sack of the game for the Huskies.
Special Teams Notes:
Justin Wain averaged 36.9 yards on nine punts with two touchbacks. Bobby Puyol was 1-of-2 on field goals (made from 45, missed from 31) and was 1-for-1 on extra points. Arkeel Newsome had 16 yards on his only kickoff return.
No major injuries for the Huskies during the game.
UConn finishes up the 2014 season at home next Saturday when they’ll host the SMU Mustangs at 12 p.m.
photo credit: john woike – hartford courant