The University of Memphis Tigers opened up American Athletic Conference play with a 34-27 victory over the Temple Owls last Thursday.

The Tigers had a sluggish first half but managed to pull away late in the game. Quarterback Riley Ferguson, who threw for 174 passing yards, and running back Doroland Dorceus, who had a team high 96 rushing yards and a touchdown, led the way for the Tiger offense.

In the win, freshman Tony Pollard returned a kickoff for a touchdown, marking the first time the Tigers have done so since Kevin Cobb scored on a kickoff return against Tennessee in 1996 – breaking the longest active streak in the nation of no kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Genard Avery intercepted his second pass of the season and returned it for a touchdown. Avery is now one of only four players in the nation to return two interceptions for touchdowns and one of only two players to intercept multiple passes and return them all for touchdowns.

Freshman running back Darrell Henderson scored the first rushing touchdown of his Memphis career. Henderson was the seventh different Tiger to rush for a touchdown this season.

Notable Year-to-Date Stats 43.4 - The Tigers are averaging 43.4 points per game during the 2016 season, which is an improvement over last season’s 40.2 points per game.

1,408 - Quarterback Riley Ferguson has thrown for 1,408 passing yards so far this season, which is the fourth most in the AAC.

6.23 - When the Tigers are on offense, they are averaging 6.23 yards per play.

71.4 - The Tigers are scoring a touchdown 71.4 percent of the time they enter the red zone, which is the second best conversion percentage in the AAC.

5 - The Tigers have won five consecutive home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium dating back to the end of last season.

20.4- The Tiger defense is allowing 20.4 points per game for the season, which ranks second in the AAC. Last season, Memphis allowed 27.3 points per game.

272.0- Ferguson has thrown for 272 yards this season, which ranks third among AAC quarterbacks. Former Memphis and current Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 290 per game in his last season.

69.2 – Running back Doroland Dorceus is rushing for 69.2 yards per game this season, which ranks seventh in the AAC.

10 – The Tigers’ defense has forced 10 interceptions this season, which is tied for second nationally with Ohio State among teams who have only played five games.

8 – Memphis has scored 26 touchdowns this season, and eight have come from freshmen.

15 – The Tigers’ defense has forced 15 turnovers this season, which leads the nation among teams that have only played five games.

29 – Kicker Jake Elliot has booted 29 touchbacks on kickoffs this season, the second most nationally among teams that have only played five games.

6 – The Tigers have a record 10 40-plus yard plays this season, the sixth most in the country among teams who have only played give games.

The Tigers will play their second AAC game of the season as they take on the Tulane Green Wave 7 p.m. Friday on Benson Field at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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