Redshirt freshman Paxton Lynch threw three touchdown passes including a pair to sophomore Tevin Jones as the Memphis Tigers scrimmaged and worked out for the first time this preseason in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Lynch completed touchdown passes of 35 and 31 yards to Jones and connected with sophomore tight end Alan Cross for a five-yard scoring strike during Saturday’s practice. Also included in the touchdown scoring was a 30-yard hookup by a pair of true freshmen as Anthony Miller made a finger-tip catch of a pass thrown by Brayden Scott.
True freshman Doroland Dorceus ran for a 17-yard touchdown run during the scrimmage. Dorceus, along with senior quarterback Jacob Karam, had touchdown runs on short-yardage series.
“I think we did some good things on both sides of the ball,” said second-year head coach Justin Fuente. “We made some plays offensively. We made some stops defensively.”
While Fuente was encouraged and thought the Tigers played with good effort, he added that he thought the Tigers made too many mistakes.
“I don’t think we played disciplined enough in order to take the steps that we want to take, so we have a lot a work to do,” he said.
Fuente added that next week will be important for the squad. The Memphis team will go through its second full week of camp including a pair of two-a-day practices on Monday and Wednesday. The Tigers will wrap up the week with another scrimmage.
The U of M takes the field for a game in three weeks. The Tigers’ season opener is Sept. 7th against Duke.
Fuente Announces Starting Quarterback
Also on Saturday, Fuente announced that redshirt freshman Paxton Lynch will be the Tigers’ starting quarterback.
Lynch signed with the Tigers after passing for 2,099 yards during his career at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona, Fla. Prior to signing with Memphis, the 6-6 signal caller was named the MVP of the Central Florida All-Star Game after passing for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Fuente informed Lynch of the decision earlier in the week and prior to the Tigers’ scrimmage on Saturday.
“I thought we got a good evaluation in the spring,” Fuente said. “We’re talking about a kid who has done everything we have asked him to do since he has been here. We have watched him steadily get better with every practice.
“That being said, we still know that he is young,” Fuente added. “We will have to do a great job coaching and putting him in good situations.”
With the decision, Lynch has moved to working more with the number-one offense as the team heads into the final weeks of the preseason.
Also in camp this year is senior quarterback Jacob Karam who started all 12 games last year.
“I expect Jacob to handle the decision as he has handled everything in his life. He will attack it full bore and be a great team guy,” Fuente said. “Obviously we are happy to have him here. How he has handled it so far speaks volumes about his character, work ethic and dedication to this team.”