Memphis defense improving after long COVID-19 layoff

Memphis defense improving after long COVID-19 layoff
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Literally, what did you expect after almost a month without a game?

The University of Memphis' 3-point loss at unbeaten SMU knocked the Tigers out of the Top 25, and put the Ponies in at 18.

What we did see is a Memphis Tigers defense, after allowing SMU to score 24 points in the first 20 minutes Saturday, settle down and give up just 6 points the rest of the game.

SMU was averaging right at 50 points a contest going into Saturday’s matchup.

Quarterback Shane Buechele throws for 318 yards in the first half but is limited to less than half that in the second. Tigers defensive back Quindell Johnson says he felt like, after 3 weeks without playing, it took the team a quarter or so to get a true feel for the game.

Johnson says the key is, “Not looking at the scoreboard, just keep playing, obviously we didn’t want the start that we had, but after the second quarter, we picked it up. It’s a testimony to us because they’re a high powered offense. Not really playing you can sense us being winded at some point, but you know it’s adversity, we have to fight through as a defense.”

Johnson forced a fumble and recovered it against the Mustangs.

The next game, a big one, with UCF coming to town Oct. 17. Kickoff is set for 2:30 pm at the Liberty Bowl.

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