While Tulsa has seemed to pack their season in, they didn’t play like it at the start of their game against Memphis on Friday night.
How can you blame Tulsa? They only have two wins on the season, they can’t seem to find a consistent starting quarterback and they lost their no. 2 running back Shamari Brooks for the year with a broken collarbone.
The Golden Hurricane played like their whole season was on the line at through the first quarter and the start of the second. When Memphis scored their first touchdown of the game with just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter, Tulsa responded four minutes later by scoring off a 10-yard run by Luke Skipper.
Memphis was quick to take the lead once again barely over a minute after Tulsa’s score, with Tony Pollard getting a 59-yard touchdown pass from Riley Ferguson. Chad President took the helm at quarterback in the second quarter and capitalized on the opportunity with a seven-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14.
Tulsa may have had some positive plays at the start, but it certainly did not end that way for the Golden Hurricane. Memphis responded to President’s score by putting up 27 unanswered points to take away a hopeful Tulsa victory and turn it into a road win of their own to move to 8-1 on the season and get one step closer to claiming a spot in the American Athletic Conference championship game.
Ferguson, as he has done for most of the season, went 27-of-39 through the air and threw for 298 yards while throwing for four touchdown passes. Ferguson connect on four different receivers for those touchdowns and did not throw an interception in the process. If that does not top it off, Memphis did not have one receiver that came down with more than 75 yards receiving.
If Ferguson is not in the Heisman discussions by now, he very well should be. Memphis’ quarterback has the ability to find his receivers and know which matchups are working in different situations. The fact that the Tigers did not have a receiver go over 75 yards and each one of Ferguson’s passing touchdowns was caught by a different receiver makes the light shine more on the quarterback.
Not saying that Memphis does not have a star-studded wide receiver. The fact is the Tigers have a star-studded quarterback and Memphis’ receivers are in the role while Ferguson is playing the star of the show.
Memphis’ passing game has been their bread and butter for the season and it showed once again in the matchup against Tulsa. Tulsa’s season has nothing left to show for, other than possibly giving some younger guys some more playing time for further experience next season.
The Tigers on the other hand have all the marbles to play for. With Ferguson at the helm and Memphis allowing him to spread out the passing game with so many options, Memphis could not only be playing in the AAC championship, but holding up the trophy in the end.