Red Wolves clawed by Memphis Tigers
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 22:09
When the Arkansas State Red Wolves and Memphis Tigers get together, there tends to be a great flare for the dramatics.
There was the Miracle in Memphis in 2006. The following year, there would be the 25 point halftime deficit. There was the 33-28 nail biter just last year. All three games would result in Arkansas State victories.
There would be no such dramatics this time around.
Playing in what could be their final matchup, the Memphis Tigers pounced on the Red Wolves from the get-go and would wind up coming away with a convincing 31-7 victory at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn.
A crowd of 36,279 watched in awe and disbelief as Memphis came out quickly, scoring touchdowns on their first two opening possessions and never looking back as both their offense dominated on the ground and the defense swarmed the Red Wolves all over the field.
“In the end, we just have to give credit to Memphis,” Head Coach Bryan Harsin said. “They came out today and made the explosive plays and we didn’t do that.”
The explosive plays began right away as Memphis would take the game’s opening possession and march down the field, scoring a touchdown on running back Brandon Hayes’ six yard run, giving Memphis a quick lead.
After the Red Wolves first drive stalled, Memphis would quickly take the ball down the field again and would need only five plays to score on a six yard pass from Quarterback Paxton Lynch to Alan Cross, making it 14-0 with 6:39 to play in the first quarter.
Arkansas State would respond however, scoring their only points of the game on a six play, 59 yard drive, culminating in a 15 yard pass from backup quarterback Fredi Knighten to wide reciever J.D. McKissic, who dived into the end zone to make it 14-7.
From there, it was all Tigers.
Running back Marqui Warford rushed for 173 yards, 121 of them coming in the second quarter. It was the first time a Memphis Tiger had rushed for more than 100 yards in a quarter since 2005.