The Memphis Tigers came out with a close 28-24 win over the Navy Midshipmen. The Tigers walked in as -11.5 favorites but were challenged the whole game by Navy. The primetime win puts Memphis at 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
As the game started for the Tigers against Navy, The Tigers had a very rocky first half.
In the beginning, the Tigers defense would start strong, forcing a 3 and out on Navy’s first drive. The offense went on to score on their first drive, as running back Blake Watson ran it into the endzone for a 7-yard rushing touchdown. The Tigers then led Navy 7-0.
Things quickly changed as Navy’s fullback Alex Tecza ran it 75 yards on Navy’s first play of their second drive. Tecza continued to dominate the Tiger defense as he ended up producing 141 of Navy’s 196 rushing yards in the first half.
The Navy defense would then cause the Tiger offense to struggle, forcing two 3 and outs in the 2nd quarter. Navy would then score again in the 2nd as Quarterback Tai Lavatai threw a 16-yard touchdown to Regis Velez to go up 14-7.
Towards the end of the 1st half, Memphis' Chandler Martin would force a crucial fourth down stop to give the Tigers momentum. Afterward, Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan led the Tiger offense down the field with a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roc Taylor. Memphis evened the score at 14 at the end of the 2nd quarter. The Tigers looked to carry the momentum into the second half after a strong ending to the first.
At the start of the 2nd half, The Tigers and Midshipmen went back and forth. At the beginning of the 3rd, the Tigers went down the field and scored as quarterback Seth Henigan sneaked it in to give them a 21-14 lead. Navy started strong in their first drive of the 2nd half by scoring a touchdown with running back Anton Hall Jr. evening the score 21-21.
The 4th quarter started strong for the Tigers as quarterback Seth Henigan rushed in the endzone for a 3-yard touchdown giving the Tigers a 28-21 lead. Navy started to go down the field on their first drive in the 4th but would come up only with a 3-point field goal instead of a touchdown.
Towards the end of the 4th quarter, the Tigers struggled to capitalize on multiple occasions, by having a fumble and an interception. On the last drive of the game, Navy marched down the field to try and win the game but would come up short on 4th down giving the Tigers the win 28-24.
The win was too close for Tigers fans as throughout the game, there were moments of displeasure with playcalling. Although, a win is a win.
Memphis will have an extended break until next Saturday as they travel to St. Louis to face Missouri in a neutral-site game. The matchup will certainly feel more like a road game for the Tigers, but the fans will show up in support.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.