MEMPHIS — Thursday night’s game between the Tigers and Navy was a classic story of redemption but it wasn’t because the U of M returned the favor to the Midshipmen after last year’s one point loss. Instead it was about the man under center and under fire.
Brady White and the Tiger offense struggled mightily in the first half as Navy got this strip sack on White in the second quarter. Leading to a 10 play 74-yard drive capped off by this 1-yard punch in by Malcolm Perry as Navy held a 20-14 lead at the half.
While the Tigers had just 29 passing yards at the break. The crowd’s frustration with White and the offense would reach a boiling point after their opening drive of the third quarter went 3 plays for -4 yards. The crowd, they let them hear it.
“I don’t care. I got my teammates behind me and true supporters behind me. I know it’s frustrating. Like he said, I’m my biggest critic. It’s just kind of funny to me,” said Brady White.
“We know what he is capable of. He is a smart QB. He always makes the smart decision, I don’t ever knock him. I don’t ever listen to what they say. He’s really good to me so I don’t listen to none of that,” said Antonio Gibson.
After that something pretty spectacular happened. White didn’t crumble. He responded. After being booed at home, White went 9-11 the rest of the way, throwing for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns. Including this 73-yard beauty to Antonio Gibson.
“You have to stay true to who you are. You have to trust your training and that’s what he did. It was incredible that and on a 3rd down and 12 or 15 or whatever and we hit the deep pass to Antonio Gibson, I saw him smile. And when I saw him smile I knew it was on,” said Mike Norvell.
“My mindset is the next play, I don’t care about what happened in the past. We are still in the game and still playing so you have to take every play as its own play” said White.
White showed his resilience helping the Tigers beat Navy for just the second time in school history.
“That is a program defining game. The reason being because of who we went against. TO come out and not play our best ball in the first half and see our guys respond. Our kids would not be denied,” said Norvell.