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Memphis edges by North Texas for a second-straight home victory

The North Texas Mean Green was the second opponent on the Memphis Tigers’ four-game home stand. The game started with a shocking turn of events for Memphis. On the opening drive for Memphis, they elected to go for it on fourth down instead of punting. The attempt failed, and North Texas took over on downs. Deep into Memphis territory, the Mean Green went up 3-0 on an Ethan Mooney 25-yard field goal.

Memphis would later respond with a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Caden Prieskorn from quarterback Seth Hennigan. After the defense forced a three and out, the Tigers would receive the football but turn it over when Hennigan threw an interception to Quinn Whitlock. Going into the half, Memphis led 20-13.

The score was much lower than expected against a North Texas defense with a mediocre secondary at best. To start the second half, Memphis intercepted North Texas QB Austin Aune for a 20-yard touchdown score. Hennigan was not successful as he was in his previous two games against Navy and Arkansas State. He would finish the night with 142 passing yards, two touchdown passes, and one interception.

Defensive Performance

The Tigers’ defense was exceptional against North Texas. The group forced three turnovers, including one returned for a touchdown by linebacker Xavier Cullens. Memphis did not allow a 100-yard rusher nor a 100-yard receiver from the Mean Green offense. On the third turnover, Memphis would add to their lead when running back Brandon Thomas ran for a two-yard touchdown score. Memphis would add more points to their lead on a 36-yard field goal by kicker Chris Howard.

The Mean Green would cut into the Tigers’ lead, but Memphis eventually came out on top in Saturday’s matchup. The final score was much closer than everyone indicated it would be against the Mean Green. Their defense was the unit that carried the load for the Tigers’ offense that was not its usual self on Saturday. It wasn’t the aerial show we are accustomed to seeing with Memphis, but these are the type of games they must find other ways to win against their opponents.

What Lies Ahead?

With a win over North Texas, Memphis improves to 3-1 on the season. Next Saturday is the start of they host their second conference opponent of the season, the Temple Owls. If they get past the Owls next Saturday, it will set things up for a Friday night showdown with AAC favorite the Houston Cougars.

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