Memphis, TN– The University of Memphis had a pair of student-athletes turn in performances which set national standards for the 2013 season during Saturday’s 31-7 win over Arkansas State University.
In addition to leading the Tigers with 10 tackles, junior defensive end Martin Ifedi tallied 4.5 tackles for loss, the most by any NCAA FBS player this season. Among his TFLs were 2.5 quarterback sacks which ties for the 10th-best sack total of the year.
Through the first three games of the season, Ifedi leads the Tigers with 23 total tackles including 9.0 tackles for loss (-35 yards) and 5.5 quarterback sacks (-25 yards).
Ifedi is averaging a nation-leading 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.8 quarterback sacks through the first four weeks of the NCAA season. The Houston native is one of only six players in the country to register an unassisted quarterback sack in the players’ first three games of the season.
True freshman running back Marquis Warford’s 173 rushing yards against Arkansas State tied for the 17th-best rushing total in FBS football this season. It also tied Pittsburgh’s James Conner’s 173-yard effort against Duke for the most rushing yards by a freshman this season.
Warford’s rushing game ranks second among freshmen in Memphis history. During his rookie season, Larry Porter rushed for 206 yards against Arkansas State in 1990. Warford’s total rushing yards against Arkansas State ranks as the 29th-best rushing total all-time at Memphis.
In Saturday’s win, Memphis held Arkansas State well below its season averages going into the game. Prior to traveling to Memphis, the Red Wolves were averaging 544.3 yards of total offense (15th in the nation at the time) and 295.7 yards rushing (9th). The Tigers held A-State to 255 yards of total offense including 74 yards rushing.
Memphis has now held its last two opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
Memphis heads into its first bye week ranked fifth in team tackles for loss (9.0) and second in team quarterback sacks (4.33). The Tigers had 12 tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks in the win over Arkansas State.
Also this week, Tom Hornsey ranks eighth nationally in punting average (46.1 yards per punt) while junior cornerback Bobby McCain ranks tied for 13th in interceptions with two in three games and tied for 15th in passes defended (1.7 per game).
Memphis opens its inaugural season of league play in the American Athletic Conference on Oct. 5th when the Tigers play host to UCF. The Knights are 3-0 heading into this weekend’s home game against nationally-ranked South Carolina.