Memphis rumbles past Huskies
MEMPHS, Tenn. — UConn football coach Randy Edsall has been bemoaning the lack of consistency his young team has displayed this season.
It’s a safe assumption that giving up 28 points to Memphis in the second quarter for the second season in a row wasn’t the type of consistency he was looking for.
Memphis junior tailbacks Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor each had a pair of scoring runs in the quarter as the host Tigers rolled to a 55-14 victory on Satur- day at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Memphis (4-2, 1-2 in the American Athletic Conference) wasted little time in taking the lead as Brady White hit an uncovered Joey Magnifico for a 44-yard touchdown to cap a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive. It was the 17th time this season an opponent had a scoring drive that took less than 2 minutes.
UConn (1-5, 0-3) had an answer, converting all five third-down conversions during a 17-play scoring drive which ended with David Pindell’s 4-yard scoring run. The drive took 7 minutes and 32 seconds making it the third most time consuming touchdown-scoring drive against a fellow Football Bowl Subdivision team since the Huskies began playing at the FBS level in 2002.
Memphis converted on a 3rd and 23 play on the next drive leading to Darrell Henderson’s 2-yard scoring run. The extra point was no good, but the Tigers still lead 13-7.
As was the case in the 2017 meeting between the teams, the
wheels fell off in the second quarter as Memphis had 178 yards on eight rushing attempts in the period. It also didn’t help that for the second week in a row the offense struggled after scoring on the opening possession.
It started with Omar Fortt, Ryan Carroll and Ian Swenson all missing tackles on Henderson’s 61-yard TD run. Taylor had a pair of 35-yard scoring runs before Henderson added a 26 yarder to push the lead to 41-7.
UConn did get a score back on a tough catch in traffic in the end zone by Keyion Dixon as the 14-yard reception with 26 seconds to play in the half made it 41-14.
Taylor had a 12-yard scoring run the first time Memphis got the ball in the second half and after Pindell’s second interception of the game, Antonio Gibson caught a 17-yard scoring pass from reserve quarterback Connor Adair with 5:59 left to play.
Henderson ran for 174 yards and Taylor 161 for Memphis as the Tigers ran for 378 yards.
Starting cornerback Tahj Herring-Wilson returned to the field for the first time since injuring his ankle in a win over Rhode Island.
Fortt led UConn with 13 tackles.
Memphis running back Patrick Taylor Jr., left, runs past UConn defender Santana Sterling on his way to a touchdown on Saturday.
Memphis defender Austin Hall, right, hits UConn quarterback David Pindell during Saturday’s game.