Memphis, TN-University of Memphis place-kicker Jake Elliott drilled a trio of field goals including a conference-record 56-yarder and cornerback Bobby McCain became the first player in league history to intercept three passes in a game as the Tigers defeated USF 23-10 on Saturday.
The tandem was recognized for their accomplishments on Monday in being named the American Athletic Conference Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Week. Additionally, Elliott was one of three players named a “Star of the Week” by the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. McCain was recognized as the National Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
Elliott’s 56-yard field goal at USF hit the crossbar and bounced through to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 12 seconds to play in the first half. Elliott’s field goal set a school record previously held by current New England Patriot’s kicker Stephen Gostkowski (53-yarder against Marshall in 2005).
Elliott also had field goals of 19 and 34 yards in the Tigers’ win in Tampa, Fla.
For the season, Elliott has now made 14-of-15 field goals. He is 6-for-6 on field goal attempts from 40+ yards including 3-for-3 from 50+ yards. Elliott’s .933 field goal percentage ranks 10th nationally and his 1.6 field goals per game ranks 16th.
Elliott is one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award which honors the nation’s top collegiate kicker.
McCain doubled his season interception total with his record-setting performance at USF. His second interception of the game was returned 36 yards for a touchdown with 1:35 to play to help seal the Tigers’ win. He also had a pick on the game’s final play in the end zone.
With his scoring return, McCain became the first Memphis player ever to score on two interception returns in the same season and the first Tiger to have three interceptions returned for touchdowns during a career.
McCain’s six interceptions this season is currently tied with four former Tigers for the fifth-most in school history. His 122 interception return yards this season is the third-highest total in school history.
McCain’s 0.9 interceptions per game this season leads FBS football.
With last week’s win, the Tigers improved to 4-6 on the year and 1-4 in American Athletic Conference play. The Tigers, winners of their last two games, continue a two-game road swing Saturday, traveling to No. 21 Louisville.