DALLAS — A matchup between two teams with identical records unfolded in an unsurprising manner, with a tie score after the first 20 minutes of the contest befitting the little separation between both Memphis and Utah State. Then the second quarter unfolded, and the combination of Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan and wide receiver Eddie Lewis made sure to create separation on multiple big pass plays, eventually turning Memphis’ season finale into a bit of Texas-sized redemption from one month ago.
Henigan threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Lewis, as the Tigers used a dominant second quarter to run away from the Aggies 38-10 in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon. All of Henigan’s three touchdown throws came in that decisive second quarter, where the Tigers scored 21 unanswered points after Utah State kicked a field goal at the beginning of the frame to tie the score at 3-3, and Memphis out-gained Utah State 179-39 in total yards in the stanza.
“I am so proud of our resiliency today and leading up to today,” Memphis head coach Silverfield said. “We are going to celebrate this and be proud of the moment. I am proud of our guys and our seniors. That win was for them. Thanks to all of the great fans from the city of Memphis. I am honored to coach this team. There are bright days ahead of us.”
Sophomore running back Jevyon Ducker scored from a yard out with 7:22 to play in the fourth quarter, then broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run up the middle with 3:16 remaining to close the scoring. Ducker ended the game with 83 yards on 13 carries.
Memphis ends the season with wins in three of their final four games, with its only loss coming in the same stadium that it played in today, a 34-31 defeat at the hands of SMU when Henigan threw an INT in the end zone with two seconds left that ended a comeback bid by the Tigers.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 28 pictures in total.