Tigers QB earns conference honor

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MEMPHIS, Tenn–Paxton Lynch, who established new career marks for passing yards and completions in last week’s 42-35 loss at nationally-ranked UCLA, has been named the American Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. The conference also named Memphis linebacker Tank Jakes to its weekly Honor Roll on Monday.

Lynch led a Memphis offense which ran 81 total plays and accounted for 489 yards of total offense. He completed 27-of-41 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his passing numbers, he ran for 27 net yards on 10 carries, scoring the Tigers’ first points of the game on an eight-yard run to help put the Tigers out in front 7-6 late in the first quarter.
The sophomore from Deltona, Fla., completed passes to 10 different receivers during the game.
Jakes led Memphis with 12 total tackles, including 11 solo stops. In addition to establishing a new career mark with his first, double-digit tackle game, the senior from Phenix City, Ala., set new career highs with four tackles for lost yardage (-24 yards) including two quarterback sacks (-13 yards). He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass in the game.
Late in the third quarter, Jakes forced UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley to fumble and was credited with a sack on the third-down play, forcing a Bruin punt. Memphis would score on its next series to cut UCLA’s lead to 35-28 with 14:21 to play.
Jakes helped give Memphis one final offensive opportunity to tie the game.
With the Tigers trailing by seven with less than two minutes to play and UCLA facing first down from its own 17, limited the Bruins’ rushing game to five total yards on consecutive plays. UCLA would be forced to punt after a two-yard loss on third down and Memphis got the ball back with 45 seconds left.
Jakes was named Athlon Sports’ Conference Player of the Week for the American and also selected the National Linebacker of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
In addition to Lynch, the American Athletic Conference named USF linebacker Nigel Thomas its Defensive Player of the Week while UConn wide receiver Deshon Foxx was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Memphis, 1-1, on the year is off this week before playing host to Middle Tennessee on Sept. 20. Kickoff time for the game is set for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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