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 Travelers, to article in print edition MST sports 2 and continued on MST sports 3

SHOOTOUT ENDS IN MEMPHIS TIGERS WIN OVER CINCINNATI

 

William M. Larsha, Jr.

By William M. Larsha, Jr., Senior Sports Correspondent

The Mid-South Tribune

and the Black Information Highway

 

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, the University of Memphis Tigers met up with the Cincinnati Bearcats for an important American Athletic Conference game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. The game was telecast nationally on ESPN in prime time and was the featured college game of the night. In other words, the whole college football world was watching. It was a chance for the Tigers to show everyone that they are finally for real and maybe ready for prime time. The Tigers had begun the season 3-0 after beating Bowling Green in a last second thriller of the week before. Now was their chance to go 4-0 against a rival that many thought would challenge them for a conference title. Though the defenses on both sides left something to be desired, offensively, the game did not disappoint as the Tigers matched scores with the Bearcats and outlasted them for a 53-46 victory.

 

The scoring started early. On their first possession, Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel capped a 4 play 36 yard drive with a touchdown run with only 1:25 off the clock. The Tigers answered in the 1st quarter with a 59 yard interception return for touchdown from Tiger defensive back Authur Maulet. After a Cincinnati field goal, the Tigers struck another big play. This time, it was an 82 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Paxton Lynch to Anthony Miller to make the score 14-10 Tigers. Late in the 1st, Bearcat star quarterback Kiel took a hit to the head and was knocked out of the game. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and will be okay.

 

Kiel's injury did not stop the scoring. He was replaced by Hayden Moore who promptly threw a 68 yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter. This is how the game would continue to go. The teams traded scores until it was 30-28 Cincinnati at the half. They traded field goals in the 3rd quarter and the shootout resumed in the 4th.

 

Lynch struck again with an 8 yard TD to Alan Cross. This was followed by a 40 yard touchdown pass form the Bearcats' Moore to Max Morrison. The extra point attempt failed making the score 39-38 Cincinnati. Sam Craft then had a 5 yard TD run which was answered by a 40 touchdown pass from Cincinnati to tie the score at 46 al. Craft scored again on a 3 yard run capping of an 80 yard drive for the Tigers to make it 53-46. The Bearcats would get the ball back and in a game that seemed like the last team to have the ball would win, The Tigers appeared to be in trouble as their defense had not stopped Cincinnati all game. However, the Bearcats fumbled on their last possession and the Tigers recovered putting the game away.

 

It was a good show for a national audience and vaulted the Tigers to 4-0. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won 10 games in row.  The team is poised for national relevance for one of the few times in school history. After a game at South Florida next Saturday, the Tigers have a home game with current number 3 in the country and rival Ole Miss. That game will go a long way in helping decide if Tigers are indeed ready for prime time.