The Memphis Tigers fell to Tulane Green Wave in a devastating loss, 28-38. Everything that could go wrong did for the Tigers, as they were down in the first half 35 to 0.
The Green Wave showed why they are ranked 25th in the nation with a dominating first half of football. This victory on Saturday for No. 25 Tulane became their first Top 25 victory since 1998. The Green Wave goes to 7-1; meanwhile, Memphis dropped to a disappointing 4-4 record.
The turnovers were the most significant things that hurt the Tigers in the first half of the game. Memphis committed three of them, the first made by wide receiver Koby Drake with a fumble.
The second one came with wide receiver Eddie Lewis muffling a punt, which turned into Tulane's touchdown. The last was from quarterback Seth Henigan on a thrown interception. The pass was intended for wide receiver Joseph Scates but got tipped and caught by safety Larry Brooks.
The Tigers also gave up a punt return touchdown in the first quarter for a 90-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jha'Quan Jackson, the first punt return score Memphis allowed since 2010. However, this is the second return touchdown Memphis has given up this season.
Despite punter Joe Doyle being the third-best punter in the country and kicker Chris Howard kicking perfectly for the season's special team, it has been a problem for the Tigers.
The first half was intense for the Tigers, and the fans were letting them hear it on the road in New Orleans. Multiple fans ran onto the field, and a member of the Tigers support staff even got beer thrown at them.
The second half is where the Tigers fought and outscored the Green Wave by 28 points-- they could not be stopped.
Henigan threw three touchdowns; two came to Lewis, who redeemed himself from the earlier muff. Lewis had two touchdown catches and 33 yards, as did Drake. The main surprise of the second half was that the defense held Tulane to only 13 yards in the third quarter. They dominated and made a crucial fourth down stop that set up the Tigers' third touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, running back Brandon Thomas tried to cut down the lead, but it was too late. The first-half deficit was too big for the Tigers to overcome.
The Tigers, as a whole, could not play a complete game of football. The offense either started slow or gave up a big play when they needed a defensive stop. "One thing coach Silverfield said was we know we are capable of playing four quarters, but we have not shown it," Henigan said.
Despite all that, the Tigers still have a great chance of making a bowl game; they only need two more wins.
Memphis returns to action on homecoming week, November 5th, against UCF.