Despite fans being disappointed with this season, the Tigers are still going to a bowl game for a fifth straight year. Only Houston, with six, has a longer bowl streak among AAC teams.
Norvell talked this week about how important it was to send the seniors out with a bowl game.
"I never thought it'd come to this," linebacker Jackson Dillon said, "But I knew we had to put in a lot of work. Now that's just the expectation."
Dillon and Sam Craft, both sixth-year seniors, are the only Tigers players who were around for a season not ending in a bowl game.
The defense shows up
Memphis hasn’t had a defensive performance to be proud of since UConn a month ago. That changed Saturday.
Over the bye week, the Tigers installed a new nickel package that featured Dillon and Bryce Huff coming off the edges instead of Huff serving as Dillon's backup.
The result? Eleven tackles for loss. Five sacks. Tulsa rushing for a seasonlow 112 yards. Austin Hall forced a fumble that he recovered.
Pop Williams has a day to remember
Not only did Williams have his first career return touchdown, he also caught a 1-yard score for the Tigers' first touchdown of the day.
The celebration left him overwhelmed and grateful.
"It made me feel good and feel like my team recognizes my hard work that I wanted to get a punt return to the house," Williams said. "They block their butts off for me and I really appreciate them for that."
Memphis' offense continues to roll
A week after putting up 59 points against ECU, the Tigers' offense continued its torrid pace.
Memphis ran the ball 55 times with Darrell Henderson leading the way with 166 yards and two scores on 23 carries. Patrick Taylor added 96 rushing yards and a score on 20 carries
Damonte Coxie continued his hot streak with six catches for 110 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard performance. Brady White had another steady performance with 184 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing.
November continues to be a great month
The Tigers are 8-1 in November since Norvell's first season in 2016. As bad as October was with losses to UCF and Missouri, the Tigers have some momentum heading into their Friday night game at SMU.
"I think you see us starting to play our best football," Norvell said.
Memphis receiver Damonte Coxie (middle) makes a first down catch against the Tulsa defense during action on Saturday.