By Jacob Rice
The Memphis Tigers (3-2) could not defy the odds against the No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0).
Memphis was pushed back to 2-2 in conference play after facing a well-rounded Bearcats team. Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield said the team has to keep working and it starts with him.
"It's a bad feeling," Silverfield said. "We need to use this as not necessarily motivation to get better, but understanding that we have got to keep working."
The Bearcats entered the game ranked seventh in the country, undefeated and perfect at home for the last 16 games. It only got more impressive for Cincinnati when they beat the Tigers lost 49-10.
The Tigers earned 321 yards on offense, 316 of them were passing. The best offensive performers were wide receivers Calvin Austin III and Tahj Washington each had more than 100 yards of receptions. However Memphis earned only five rushing yards.
"As an offense we didn't have any answers," Silverfield said. "We did such a poor job running the football it didn't allow for much execution as an offense."
Memphis had thirteen drives on offense and only two of them resulted in points. There were three drives that ended after the Tigers did not convert on fourth down. Six of the thirteen drives ended with a punt. Memphis and Cincinnati both turned the ball over once.
Almost everything was working for the Bearcats on both sides of the ball. Memphis did what they could, but ultimately underperformed. Memphis' defense allowed 513 yards to the Bearcats' offense. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder led his offense again, this time with 271 passing yards, 44 rushing yards and 5 total touchdowns. Without Memphis keeping up and scoring points the game slowly went Cincy's way.
"One-hundred percent credit should go to Cincinnati," Silverfield said. "Let's call it what it is, they are a great team. Ultimately, we didn't do what it took. We didn't do anything it took to win this game."
The only Memphis touchdown was an explosive play from Washington in the first quarter. At halftime the Bearcats led 21-10, however not much happened for the Tigers afterwards and they ended the day with a heavy 39-point loss.
Memphis quarterback Brady White said he was displeased with the result and it was not what Memphis football is about.
"I don't want to speak for everyone, but I'm very confident I speak for most people when I say that was pitiful and pretty embarrassing," White said. "My standard and our standard is championship football."
The Cincinnati defense has spent the season basking in their success. After five games, none of their opponents have scored more than 20 points. Memphis couldn't change that narrative and they were added to the list.
White said the team is very mature and knows how to move forward from this game.
"I have a lot of confidence in how we're gonna bounce back from this," White said. "We are gonna make sure the rest of this season is displaying the brand of football that we know how to display."
The Bearcats ended a five-game losing streak against Memphis starting back in 2014. The Tigers get seven days before they face their next South Florida in Memphis.