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Recap: Memphis 55, Kansas 23

Mark it with a W. Tigers go 2-0. Remember that. It's important.

Memphis QB Paxton Lynch throws a pass in Saturday's win over Kansas. He did that a lot.
Memphis QB Paxton Lynch throws a pass in Saturday's win over Kansas. He did that a lot.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis football marched into a Big XII stadium and came out with a win. Remember that. It's important.

There will be people who choose to focus on a defense that looked very porous at times, or that Memphis spotted Kansas the first 10 points of the game, or how the offense kept calling sweeps and reverses that didn't go anywhere.

And, yes, these are concerns. Of course they are. But remember, it happened in a 55-23 win over a Big XII team.

I cannot emphasize that enough.

Pro-prospect quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 354 yards on 22/25 passing and 2 TDs. He'd never had a better day passing. He might have had even better numbers, but Memphis pulled him in the fourth quarter, because, hey, why risk injury when you're up 32 points in the fourth quarter against a Big XII team?

Jarvis Cooper looked like a beast all night, changing the nature of the game by his very presence. Wide receiver Mose Frazier had 77 yards receiving and a touchdown on a 60-yard end-around sweep. Memphis' offense scored 55 points.

In case you need help contextualizing that final figure, please recall that the Tigers only scored 63 against FCS cupcake Missouri State last Saturday.

If the defense wasn't perfect at first, there are reasons for it. Their relative inexperience, obviously. And Kansas is still a Big XII team, with Big XII players, in spite of their loss last week to FCS South Dakota State. Just with size and speed, they are capable of keeping things interesting for a while, and they did.

Wide receiver Tevin Jones fumbled on Memphis' first play from scrimmage (one of those blasted sweep plays), leading directly to 3 Kansas points. After a three-and-out by the Tiger offense, Kansas marched right down the field and scored a touchdown and, at that point, it would have been easy to panic.

This shows the professionalism of the Memphis coaching staff, by the way. So the first few minutes didn't go according to plan. The Memphis staff trusted their preparation and kept doing their thing.

So the running game didn't start as well as you'd like. They kept pounding that ball with Sam Craft, Cooper, Jamarius Henderson, and Doroland Dorceus until Kansas' defensive line just got flat tired. Then it was party time for the half-back corp.

So you had three fumbles...

Okay, so maybe there's no sugar coating that.

Before going into Bowling Green, Ohio, next Saturday and taking on the team that beat Johnny-come-lately Big Ten participant Maryland 48-27 today, Memphis has some work to do. The secondary could tighten things up a bit. If Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart had shown any ability at all to hit wide open receivers on the deep pass, this might have been a different game.

But, when the biggest problem you have when creaming a Big XII team is that the beat down didn't start soon enough for your liking, you're doing pretty good.

Mark it with a W. Tigers go 2-0. Remember that. It's important.