Memphis vs. Tulane: Second-Half Collapse Costs Tigers in C..

In the presence of Memphis Pro Wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler, the opportunity was there for the Tigers’ football team to dethrone the AAC’s king, but they couldn’t quite script the drama to defeat Tulane. In the second half, the Tigers (4-2, 1-1 AAC) took the lead with a commanding lead but ultimately fell short in front of 35,609 fans at the Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, losing 31-21. As they did two weeks ago against Boise State, Memphis took more than a quarter to shake off the rust. The Tigers fell behind 10-0 but rallied to take a 14-10 lead by halftime.

They extended the lead to 21-10, but it was Tulane’s turn to turn the game on its axis. The Green Wave succeeded with a 21-0 run, a lead they never relinquished, and denied Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield his first signature victory. In the rushing game, Memphis struggled. Tulane (5-1, 2-0) took advantage of a lackluster Memphis defense to jump out to a 10-0 lead, but the Tigers responded, and quarterback Seth Henigan found receiver Kobe Drake for a touchdown pass in the middle to reclaim a 21-10 lead.

Tulane’s Dominant Run to Seal the Game

They should have left it there in control of the game, but Tulane answered with a 21-0 run of its own, taking advantage of Memphis’ defense struggling to contain the numbers game, eventually catching Memphis cornerback Jacobi Francis in a mismatch and sealing the game with a 130-yard run and a 26-yard touchdown. Seth Henigan stepped up against AAC’s top QB

Henigan had a frightening start to the game

Henigan had a frightening start to the game, but he turned it around and powered Memphis’ offense for most of the game. There was no presence of a running game against Tulane’s elite rush defense, so it was up to the third-year quarterback. He delivered, completing 24 of 43 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns.

But he also threw two interceptions. Tulane’s Michael Pratt considered the top QB in the AAC, went 19-for-31 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. He came alive in the second half, also rushing for a touchdown late in the third quarter. It was déjà vu for Memphis’ defense.

The Tigers started drives like the Boise State game, gaining just 29 yards on the first seven plays. Henigan couldn’t get anything going, starting 1-for-9 before finding Drake for his lone completion on the drive. A drive like a rock trailer, which finally jolted the offense. His 21-yard catch-and-run on an 89-yard drive featured Demeer Blankumsee’s 17-yard receiving touchdown.

Memphis’ defense faced an initial challenge.

 Memphis’ defense faced an initial challenge.

As Pratt struggled, the Tigers’ defense kept them in the game. Tulane’s offense moved the ball in only one of its first four drives, and Memphis got its share of important stops in the first half. The defense bent but didn’t break on a 14-play Tulane drive that ended in a field goal midway through the second quarter.

On the next drive, Tulane moved the ball to the Memphis 23, but the Green Wave came up empty on fourth down, providing a critical boost for the Tigers to take a halftime lead. Next up? Games on the road. Memphis is on the road for games against UAB (2-4, 1-1) and North Texas (2-3, 0-1).

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