On a picture-perfect College Football Thursday night, the hometown Memphis Tigers welcomed the Navy Midshipmen to the Liberty Bowl in a must-win situation for both teams. Coming into the matchup with the Navy, Memphis knew they would have their hands full, but a win over Navy was a must for this program to have any hope whatsoever for a successful, winning season.
From the Opening Kickoff until the final whistle, you could sense new energy around the Memphis Football program. Everywhere you looked, Memphis players and staff were having fun tonight. Tonight for the first time since the 31-29 win over Mississippi State, it felt like the old Memphis Football again. The boys in blue were flying all over the field, making big play after big play on both sides of the ball.
Starting with the defense, Memphis had an answer for just about every Navy drive tonight, except for one possession early in the first half. Heading into Thursday’s game, Memphis had three games where the defense was almost impossible to locate. Well, on Thursday night, the Tigers completely shut down the Triple Option of Navy, holding the Midshipmen to 241 total yards on the night, including a few big-time sacks to put the nail in the coffin of Navy. Overall, that Memphis defense tonight was impressive, to say the least, they completely shut down Triple Option, and they forced Navy to throw the ball downfield. In return, that Memphis defense was able to take away the pressure from the offensive unit.
As far as the offensive unit goes? Memphis executed everything to perfection. Quite simply, the Navy Midshipmen didn’t have an answer for the explosive offensive product that Memphis placed on the field tonight. As an offensive unit, Memphis finished the night with a balanced attack through both the air and on the ground. Memphis finished the night with 415 total yards, which translates to 210 through the air, and 200 in the running game. Also, Memphis had zero turnovers and sixteen first downs.
Next up for the Memphis Tigers will be a road trip next Friday night as they travel to Orlando, Florida, to take on Arch-rival the UCF Knights in a highly anticipated AAC matchup. For Memphis to win that game over UCF, the Tigers will need another game like they had tonight against the Navy Midshipmen.
The next home game for Memphis will be Saturday, November 6th, as they welcome SMU to the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.