Tigers roll over Kansas to improve to 2-0

Tigers University of Memphis Football field

MEMPHIS,Tenn. – Riley Ferguson threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns and Jake Elliot kicked a trio of field goals _ including a 50-yarder _ as Memphis built an early lead and coasted to a 43-7 victory over Kansas on Saturday.

Ferguson completed 15 of 24 passes for Memphis (2-0), the bulk of his passing yards coming on an 84-yard completion to Anthony Miller for the game’s first score. In addition to his 50-yarder, Elliot converted kicks of 41 and 42 yards.

The Jayhawks, (1-2) who lost their 39th consecutive road game, struggled offensively throughout, although they did end with 314 yards total offense. Many times when Kansas was able to move the ball, the momentum was stalled by one of the Jayhawks’ six turnovers in the game.

Those miscues included a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown by Memphis defensive tackle Jonathan Wilson. Wilson’s return late in the second quarter gave Memphis a 33-7 lead at the break.

“It shocked me big time,” the soft-spoken Wilson said of the play, adding he didn’t see any Jayhawks in front of him after he picked off the pass from Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart. “I was thinking `Don’t let me get caught.”’

The Jayhawks never came close to Wilson and never came close to threatening the Tigers in the second half after Memphis added Elliott’s 50-yard field goal and a fourth-quarter 8-yard scoring run by Tony Pollard.

Kansas’ only touchdown came on a third-and-1 play when Khalil Herbert broke the first wave of Memphis defenders bunched at the line of scrimmage and went 66 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

“That was good to see for our line, our guys up front, continuing to work and continuing to push,” Kansas coach David Beaty said. “It was a short-yardage situation. He’s a fast kid, and it was good to see him get out.”