MEMPHIS , Tenn. (AP) - Arkelon Hall ran for one touchdown and threw for 173 yards and another score to lead Memphis a 31-10 victory over Nicholls State on Saturday night. The Tigers (1-3) used a balanced attack, but got their highest production of the season on the ground, rushing for 276 yards. Curtis Steele lead Memphis with 109 yards on 20 carries and Charlie Jones added 57 yards and scoring runs of 11 and 2 yards. It was the opener for the Colonels (0-1), whose first two games were canceled because of Hurricane Gustav. Memphis held the Colonels to 164 yards and turned a pair of fumbles into touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Colonels managed only 29 yards in the second half.
The teams were tied at 10 at the half, highlighted by Nicholls State's Ladarius Webb's 70-yard return of a blocked field goal attempt. Kyle Hughes busted through the line and blocked the 32-yard attempt by the Tigers' Matt Reagan, and Webb's return gave the Colonels a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Memphis rushed for 153 yards in the first half. Ross Schexnayder's 19-yard field goal with just more than remaining before halftime pulled the Colonels even. Nicholls State stayed on the ground in the half, running its option offense, but was held to 135 yards, 104 of them on the ground. The Colonels' only completion of the half came on a 31-yarder in the closing seconds. But Nicholls State failed to capitalize as quarterback Vincent Montgomery fumbled on the next play. Hall added a 2-yard touchdown and a 10-yard pass to Duke Calhoun in the second half for the Tigers.