MEMPHIS, Tenn. – It wasn’t pretty, but Memphis fended off the Midshipmen 28-24 for a fifth consecutive win over Navy for the Tigers’ first American Athletic Conference win.
” We always tell our guys that momentum one shouldn’t affect those teams are steadfast and strong-minded. But two, we found a way to win a game,” said Tigers head coach Ryan Silverfield.
After struggling to defend the Navy’s triple option attack, the defense gave up its first touchdown of the season. However, Memphis held firm with less than a minute left in regulation for a game-deciding stop on fourth down.
” We just had a slogan for the week called the “Wrench,” said Tigers defensive end Jaylon Allen. “We didn’t want the belt or the switch, but the wrench is just coming in with the kind of mentality shown on the last drive.”
In the second half, Old Dominion transfer running back Blake Watson provided the spark the offense needed. Watson finished with 171 total rushing on 10 carries, he also caught six passes for a total of 68 yards.
” We always try to make plays no matter what the situation is. I just try to stay patient of my old line of work for me and when I see that little crease I try to hit it and just keep on working,” said Watson.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers had two costly turnovers. Watson fumbled inside the Tigers’ one-yard-line, while quarterback Seth Henigan threw an interception leaving the door open for Navy. However, unlike last season the Tigers found a way to win down the stretch.
” It’s given confidence that we can find ways to win games, I don’t know if it’s going to show up next Saturday or in November, but it’s going to show back up and these guys against, OK, hey, we can find a way,” said Silverfield.
” To come out here and be able to walk away with a win is definitely important for our team and important going forward. I’m just grateful that we found a way to win,” said Seth Henigan.
Next up, the Tigers will face its only SEC opponent of the season against the Mizzou Tigers in St. Louis, Missouri.