Memphis fell to Houston Saturday night in what surely will become an AAC instant classic. The Tigers dominated the first half and appears to be cruising before Houston stormed back to win the game 35-34.
The story of the first half was defense as the Tigers held Houston drive after drive. Houston had only been held to a max of 4 three and outs as a high for any game this season. In the first half alone the Tigers held the Cougars to 5 three and outs.
The early scoring for Memphis was keyed by a Jake Elliot made 41 yarder quickly followed with a Paxton Lynch find of a wide open Alan Cross for a easy 38 yard touchdown. Lynch would again connect on a 61 yard weaving touchdown to Doroland Dorceus for a 20-0 lead which appeared to be safe heading in to halftime.
Houston would lose star quarterback Greg Ward late in the second quarter and find themselves in the hands of backup quarterback, and former wide receiver, Kyle Postma. Postma would lead the Cougars on a quick scoring drive to narrow the halftime gap 20-7 in favor of Memphis.
In the third quarter the Cougars would find their running game. Kenneth Farrow would make quick work and score on the Cougars opening drive. Doroland Dorceus would answer for the Tigers and the Tiger lead to 27-14.
Memphis would build a 20 point lead 9 seconds in to the 4th as Tevin Jones took a Paxton Lynch pitch 25 yards. All seemed to be rolling in Memphis' favor until the Cougar defense clamped down and the Tigers offense tightened up.
Kenneth Farrow again would add a score and cut the Tiger lead to 13, 34-21. The Tigers would find themselves able to stop the Cougars sparingly in short field situations only to cough up turnovers. A Dorceus fumble followed by a Paxton Lynch intercepted pass would lead to short fields for Houston allowing the Cougars to find the end zone and pull the game within 6 points. After Memphis failed to convert on a late drive the Cougars would take advantage. Kyle Postmas would lead a late drive and score the go ahead touchdown with 1:27 remaining in the game.
Paxton Lynch appeared poised to lead his offense in to a game winning situation. The Tigers have made come from behind wins a bit of a norm this season and it looked as if they may pull another game out after giving up an enormous lead. After giving up the 20 point 4th quarter lead the Tigers would find themselves relying on the leg of their trusty kicker Jake Elliot for a 48 yard game winner. Elliots kick sailed wide right allowing Houston to claim their third largest come from behind win in school history.