MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The final college football game of the decade in Memphis didn’t involve the Tigers but did have a definite Bluff City and Tennessee feel to it thanks to the Naval Academy’s win over Kansas State in Tuesday’s 61st Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
The Midshipmen were helped by a record-setting performance from quarterback Malcolm Perry.
The Clarksville, Tennessee, native ran for 213 yards to become the NCAA’s all-time single-season rushing leader for a quarterback.
Navy then went with the trick play in the closing seconds. A halfback pass helped set up the game-winning field goal in the Midshipmen’s 20 to 17 win, making a winner of five Memphians on the Navy roster, including former Lausanne star Cameron Kinley.
Kinley had been win-less in his hometown until now.
“I was 0-and-2 before this game, so to finally get a win here in Memphis is exciting,” the Navy junior cornerback said. “I’m grateful. I’m extremely blessed. It’s been very exciting, man. We’ve been in that predicament a lot this season, so we knew what we had to do. We were comfortable. We just had the will to win. Whole off-season, we talked about finishing, so it’s only right that the last game of the season that we had to finish.”