Memphis Tigers Head Coach Mike Norvell prepares to lead his team out on to the field to take on the South Alabama Jaguars at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
Even though it was the Memphis Tigers’ first game away from the bluff city, these Tigers weren’t bluffin’ when they took on the South Alabama Jaguars Saturday. After last week's win against Southern University, the Tigers were left with concern on where their defense stood. Following Saturday’s game, it is safe to say the Tigers are headed in the right direction after the 42-6 win. For the 3rd time in 4 years, the Memphis Tigers have started their season 3-0.
“No matter what it took, we wanted to be 1-0 today”, said Coach Norvell following Saturday’s win. In week 2, the Tigers allowed 24 points from the Southern University Jaguars which left concern as to their defensive capability. However, the Tiger’s defense was able to hold South Alabama to 248 yards. Their defense proved their potential with two forced turnovers and 1 interception. Coach Norvell expressed his satisfaction with the defense.
“(I am) Really pleased with those guys, what I’m seeing on the defensive side of the ball,” said Norvell, “We have a lot of speed”
Memphis defensive end Corteze Love celebrates with teammates after their 42-6 win against South Alabama at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
Not only were the Tigers able to show the power of their defense, but showed that the good ole’ Tiger offense is still alive and well. With RB Patrick Taylor still out, the Tigers have continued to fill his shoes. Picking up right where he left off last weekend, RB Kenny Gainwell gained a career-high of 145 yards. Joining him, RB Kylan Watkins rushed 113 yards. The last time the Tigers had 2 100 yard rushers was in last season's Birmingham Bowl from Patrick Taylor and Tony Pollard. QB Brady White continued with 209 yards and threw 3 TD passes.
Memphis quarterback Brady White high-fives fans after their 42-6 win against South Alabama at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.
Overall, the Memphis Tigers look to have a pretty complete team.
Despite the fact that the Tigers held the Jaguars to the lowest points allowed since 2016 when the Tigers out scored Bowling Green 77-3, Coach Norvell has much higher expectations from his team.
“(There are) still some mistakes that we had that we have to clean up. I don’t know if that was our absolute best performance”.
Coach Norvell referred to the job of White as just “okay” following Saturday's game.
Regardless of the fact that Coach Norvell expects more from his Tigers, they continue to prove that they have both an efficient defense and offense in road situations.
The Memphis Tigers have another opportunity to perfect their game when they have their first conference opponent September 26 @7:00 at the Liberty Bowl. They face Navy in hopes of continuing their winning streak another week.