Memphis Outlasts Navy 35-23 To Move To 4-0
By: Tony Thomas
September 27, 2019
The Memphis Tigers gained 301 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns in a variety of ways as they beat the Midshipmen of Navy 35-23 to remain undefeated.
The Tigers are arguably the best of the Group of 5 teams in the country at this point in the season.
QB Brady White threw for 3 TD’s and no INT’s and completed 78% of his passes. RB Kenny Gainwell scored on a 75-yard touchdown run. WR Antonio Gibson broke the century mark (105 yards) on just 3 catches. Gabriel Rogers scored on a 99-yard punt return.
The Midshipmen were led by QB Malcolm Perry, who passed for 82 yards and a TD rushed for 91 yards and 2 TD’s. Perry didn’t throw any interceptions. RB Keoni-Kordell Mahekau added 101 yards on just 8 carries, averaging a whopping 12 yards per carry.
The Memphis defense held Navy scoreless in the 3rd quarter, sacked Perry twice, forced an interception, and recovered a fumble. And, they made 8 tackles for losses.
Defense has been the strongest phase of the game for the Tigers this season. In four games this season, Memphis has produced the following numbers on defense:
- Held 3 of 4 opponents to less than 100 yards passing.
- Held 3 of 4 opponents to less than 200 yards rushing.
- Held 3 of 4 opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense.
- #1 ranked pass defense in the country allowing 103 yards/game.
- #13 ranking in total defense in the country allowing 263 yards/game.
- #21 ranked scoring defense in the country allowing 15 points/game.
Memphis head coach Mike Norvell has been at the helm since 2016. He has taken the Tigers to 3 bowl games in 4 years but have an 0-3 bowl record in that period. Norvell’s record at Memphis is 30-14 and his name has come up in conversations regarding potential Power 5 coaching vacancies. Norvell is regarded as the next up and coming head coach.
Could Norvell stay in the state and become the next head coach in Rocky Top? If the Jeremy Pruitt experiment continues to implode and the Vols sink further into the abyss of mediocrity, Tennessee Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer should begin his coaching search by making Norvell his first call.
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