Memphis Tigers @ Connecticut Huskies
Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium – Hartford, CT
Memphis (70), Connecticut (31)
Bryant Shirreffs, QB (Redshirt Senior)
Pre-game captain. Not seeing the field well on early drop backs. Missed consecutive reads (long and short) to open second possession from the pocket. Hole shot vs. Cover 2 comes up empty; timed release perfectly but failed to throw with touch and throw sails over receiver’s head on the play. “Sneaky” athlete; has some wheels on QB counter to pick up nice gain. Nice job transitioning out of deep set play action and climbing the ladder to flush and gain 10+ yards. Pocket vision continues to be non-existent; hits back foot with little idea of where to go with the football. Easy pitch and catch after quick break of huddle; defense fails to identify and cover TE on a quasi-screen look. Pulls trigger on a poor target; CB had WR pinned to the sideline and still opted to throw up a pass that was intercepted. Fails to hit open target in hole on 3rd and long target; quick 3 and out courtesy of poor throw. Finally hits route in the hole up the sideline; finding RB on a wheel route. Throw was placed accurately and with needed push to thread needle.
Junior Joseph, MLB (Redshirt Senior)
Patient stepping down into the LOS on inside run; stays in cut back lane to finish the play. Good read on pre-snap motion to scrape; does well to beat OL to spot and uncover at the LOS (teammate finished tackle in backfield on jet sweep). Early drop to carry slot stem before uncovering to tackle Miller on crossing route and prevent 3rd down conversion. Right at home in traffic; finds way to ball carrier on inside run for another tackle. Aggressive reacting to pre-snap motion again and beats OL across face; makes drive killing tackle. Stout on 5 yard line to not concede space after 1st contact. TFL negated by chop block elsewhere but again showing up big in the alley for a goal line tackle. Physical dominance between hashes continues; stepping out on a smoke throw to violently bring down WR, who had no momentum. Pursuit, pursuit, pursuit. Hot motor showing well in 1st half after chasing down screen pass. Shows some hip tightness trying to redirect and mirror a hard cut after shooting gap; cannot mirror and finish play. Rebounds on next play to combat TE up the seam on skinny post, well defended from the hip pocket. Nice step into LOS on off tackle run but doesn’t use hands to stack the block, gets washed out of the frame as a result. Corrects on very next play to play off block and make a contested tackle. Works well and takes good angle to get across a teammate engaged in block to shut down draw play on 3rd and long (ran into the boundary).
Jamar Summers, DB (Senior)
Pre-game captain. Looks off balance trying to plant and drive reacting to an intermediate route in front of his face; feet crossed up on the play. Too loose in man to man coverage against Miller in the red area. Lost contact early and conceded large space before failing to turn head and look for the football. Clean up tackle in off zone; good reactionary quickness to peel back and not overrun play. Soft at the catch point again; failing to challenge the football and allowing 1st down. Down on the field after first play of second half, crumpled holding left leg. Lack of spring in drive step is especially notable when across from Miller, who is eating him up with hard breaks.
Riley Ferguson, QB (Redshirt Senior)
Pre-game captain. Crafty forced missed sack with late pivot to avoid a stunting rusher; able to throw ball away and preserve down and distance. Accurate rolling right, easy read to complete in the flat of a “spot” route concept. Throws behind post route to the isolated side of the field (one on one). Dart over the middle of the field to throw over 2nd level and squeeze tight throw in man to man coverage on 3rd and 10. Holds ball too long on 3rd and long waiting for crossing route to clear; bailed out by tremendous reception by WR Anthony Miller. Well placed back shoulder throw to target Jamar Summers one on one for a touchdown. Content to nickel and dime UConn here in early 2nd QTR; a lot of quick smoke throws but shows good heat on all. Another back shoulder throw to Miller in the endzone; well placed in spite on not stepping into delivery. Has a knack for rolling away from pressure; calm under duress tonight. Works across the MOF after primary read slips and falls on bootleg to identify Miller running back side post with no safety home to provide assistance: well placed ball for a TD. Good anticipation to thread window throw up the MOF, his third long TD pass between the hashes. Still not in sync on far boundary throws, again throwing behind in breaking pattern. Ability to keep eyes down the field while forced off of throwing platform is one of more notable traits in this contest.
Anthony Miller, WR (Redshirt Senior)
Pre-game captain. Short area quickness evident on bubble throw but caught by contain defender for TFL. Follows up with third down conversion by running skinny post in front of safety for big chunk gain. Hit with false start penalty on 3rd and 10 midway through 1st QTR. Schemed open look vs. deep zones out of the slot, catching on the move and making a move; comes just short of a 1st down. Superb single hand reception on 3rd and long before turning up field for a chunk gain. Incredible stickiness in hands on that reception. Gets stacked over Summers quickly on the far side of the field; does well to leave ample space along the sideline for back shoulder throw and an adjustment for TD catch. Lightning in a bottle: smoke throw gets Miller one on one in third of the field and showcases creativity and vision as a ball carrier. Up to two 1st half TDs, this one on another back shoulder target put in an indefensible spot. Miller did well to peel shoulders back and adjust body to the football. Has been uncoverable in the 1st half: deep post route was won immediately at the line of scrimmage (long TD to go up 28-21). Gets lost on bootleg action in the flats, converts another big catch and run, playing off of several defenders to toe the sideline. Terrific contested catch on deep target up the sideline for 4th touchdown reception of the contest. Showed great elevation on the play to pluck off defender’s helmet.
Stock: Way Up
Tito Windham, CB (Junior)
Struggles to get off of block by TE, overpowered and turned out on a long running touchdown to open the scoring. Good break on bubble; very good processing action in the flats and playing with aggression to challenge reception point. Good speed to catch up to a coverage bust; notable juice in space. Run blitz off the edge vs. closed formation and makes clean finish in pursuit on inside run. Nice job working back inside a block and forcing fumble on a loosely carried football. Another forced fumble, this one a physical strip after establishing wrap up on running back. Steps up out of zone coverage to challenge and put down receiver on a 4th and long; good open field challenge and tackle.
Joey Magnifico, TE (Redshirt Sophomore)
First big play as a seam leak, totally uncontested on the target but good adjustment to make reception. Curl route in the middle of defense inside the 5; making a difficult sliding TD reception.
Best Players on the Field
WR Anthony Miller
QB Riley Ferguson
LB Junior Joseph
DB Jamar Summers
QB Bryant Shirreffs