Memphis Beats Arkansas State – What They’re Saying


Memphis beats Arkansas State

Memphis beats Arkansas State handily at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis Saturday and here is a roundup of what is being said around the sports world about that rivalry game that ended with the final score – 31-7.

C.J. Hurt of Memphis Sport writes:

What a day for Memphis Tigers football.  The Tigers dominated every aspect of their game against rival Arkansas State in route to a 31-7 victory.

“It is nice to get that win. I am proud of our kids, our coaching staff, the way we conducted ourselves, the level of discipline we showed, and the way we bounced back… it is a good victory,” Justin Fuente said following his Tigers 24 point win.

Memphis snagged its first win over Arkansas State since the 2008 season in impressive fashion, gaining 505 yards of total offense, while the defense held a Red Wolves team that averaged 544.4 yards coming into the game, to just 255 total yards.


WMCT in Memphis reports:

Memphis and Arkansas State are two schools, a little over an hour apart.

But while the Red Wolves have made a name for themselves in the Sun Belt Conference over the last 5 years, the Tigers are in rebuilding mode, losing four of the last five to their opponent from just up the road.

Memphis hoping Saturday’s game against the AState would end with a ‘W’ in the win column.

After scoring on their opening drive, the Tigers never trailing, beat Arkansas State 31-7.

Brandon Hayes and Marquis Warford each putting up 100+ yard efforts, with Hayes rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown, Warford, 173 yards and a touchdown in the win.


Troy Schulte of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says:

Halftime came after a beating so thorough and sound that there wasn’t much ASU could do in the second half to make a difference in what ended up being a 31-7 loss.


The Associated Press reports:

Arkansas State coach Brian Harsin saw his running game disappear and his quarterback under pressure most of the day.

The combination contributed to a poor offensive performance from the Red Wolves and a 31-7 loss to Memphis on Saturday.

“We expected pressure,” Harsin said. “There were some one-on-one battles that we lost. They had good coverage down the field. The key was, we were able to run the ball early on, but they made some adjustments to that.”

The Memphis victory, its first of the season, prevented Harsin from attaining the best start for a coach in his inaugural season at Arkansas State since Bill Adams in 1939.

The Tiger defense had seven sacks among its 12 tackles for losses in the game. Memphis pressured Kennedy and was aggressive in reaching Red Wolves runners in the backfield.

[Memphis defensive end Martin] Ifedi said the defense saw “nothing different” from the Red Wolves’ offense.

“We called out each play right before they would run it,” the defensive end said. “The film really doesn’t lie. All they did on film is what they did (Saturday).”


Athlon Sports report on the game:

Adam Kennedy threw for just 166 yards, completing 20-of-37 with no touchdowns and one interception for the Red Wolves (2-2). David Oku was the team’s leading rusher with only 45 yards on 12 carries. Julian Jones pulled down six receptions for 59 yards in the loss.

The Memphis defense had a monster game, tying a school record with seven sacks, while holding ASU to just 255 yards of total offense. The Tigers finished with 505 yards of total offense, its first outing with 500 or more yards of offense since facing Southern Miss in 2008. Memphis rushed for a total of 329 yards in the game, the most since having 379 yards on the ground against Tulane in 2008.


WREG in Memphis:

For the first time in five years, the Tigers also had over 500 yards total offense, finishing with 505 against an Arkansas State that had won 4 of 5 against the U of M.

Martin Ifedi led a Tiger defense that tied the school record with 7 sacks, holding the Red Wolves to just 74 yards rushing.  Arkansas State came in averaging almost 300 yards on the ground.


Video Highlights of the game from the University of Memphis


And the way the story is told by the University of Memphis Department of Athletics:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Marquis Warford rushed for 173 yards on 11 carries and Brandon Hayes had 114 yards on 18 carries to help Memphis (1-2) rush past Arkansas State (2-2), 31-7, on Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers finished with 505 yards of total offense, its first outing with 500 or more yards of offense since facing Southern Miss in 2008. Memphis rushed for a total of 329 yards in the game, the most since having 379 yards on the ground against Tulane in 2008.

Memphis’ defense did a number on Arkansas State, tying a school record with seven sacks. The U of M held ASU to 255 total yards of offense while holding its second-straight opponent under 100 yards rushing. The Tigers limited the Red Wolves to seven points, the fewest for Arkansas State since September of the 2011 season.

The Tigers got off to a quick start as quarterback Paxton Lynch completed a 24-yard pass to Sam Craft to get Memphis to midfield. A facemask penalty against Arkansas State moved the Tigers to the Red Wolves 38 and Hayes used three carries to move the ball inside the ASU 30. Lynch completed passes of six and 14 yards to put Memphis six yards away from scoring. Hayes capped the seven-play, 77-yard drive a six yard score and a 7-0 Tigers lead.

Memphis’ defense sacked ASU quarterback Adam Kennedy twice on their opening drive forcing the Red Wolves to punt. Martin Ifedi sacked Kennedy for a loss of five and Terry Redden registered a sack later in the posession to force third and long. Keiwone Malone returned the punt from ASU 31 yards to set up the Tigers in good field position.

The Tigers grabbed a 14-0 lead with a five-play, 36 yard drive with Lynch completing one of his two passes. Hayes scampered 21 yards on first down and Marquis Warford rushed for a seven yard gain two plays later. Lynch completed a two yard pass to Hayes and the Tigers came up inches away from first down. Memphis elected to go for it on fourth down and was rewarded as Lynch completed a six-yard pass to Alan Cross for the touchdown.

Arkansas State responded on their next posession to cut the Tigers lead to 14-7. The six-play, 58-yard drive was capped by J.D. McKissic leaping over the goal line for the 15-yard touchdown. Memphis answered with a 23-yard field goal by Jake Elliot, giving the U of M a 17-7 advantage.

The Tigers continued a dominant first half with Craft rushing for a five-yard score and a 24-7 lead. A 28-yard punt return by Malone put Memphis on the ASU 34-yard line to start the scoring drive. A pass interference call against the Red Wolves helped the Tigers move inside the red zone and Warford rushed 11-yards to get Memphis inside the 10.

Memphis finished the first half with 315 yards of total offense, 216 of which came in the ground attack. Warford had three carries for 121 yards in the second quarter and had a first half total of 133. The Tigers defense did their job as well, sacking the quarterback six times while adding three more tackles for loss. Ifedi had two and a half sacks in the first half and Bobby McCain had an interception, the lone turnover by either team in the first half.

Defense continued to come up big for the Tigers as the U of M forced Arkasnsa State to go three-and-out on its first posession of the second half. On the Red Wolves’ next drive, ASU drove 36 yards to the Memphis 31-yard line before facing fourth and four. The Tigers defense tackled Kennedy for a loss, resulting in a turnover on downs.

The Tigers continued the ground attack, piling up 37 yards on the ground in an eight play, 69-yard drive. Daniel Hurd made his first career reception, a 27-yard pass from Lynch. Hurd hauled in another catch on the next play, a five-yard catch to put Memphis on the ASU 26-yard line. After a seven-yard rush from Hayes, Warford had two carries for 19 yards and capped the drive with a 16-yard scamper for the Tigers’ 31-7 lead.

Arkansas State was able to move past midfield just one more time in the second half, but the Tigers defense held again, forcing the turnover on downs. Memphis held ASU scoreless in the second half as the Red Wolves had 121 yards of offense and only 26 yards rushing.

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