Coming off a program-defining win over Ole Miss last weekend, Justin Fuente was concerned about his Memphis Tigers looking past Tulsa and ahead to what could be. For the most part, Fuente had little to worry about on that front — again, for the most part.
Up 35-21 at the half, the No. 18 Tigers watched as, on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Dane Evans to Joshua Atkinson, that 14-point lead was sliced in half to seven at 42-35 just over five minutes into the third quarter. That was as close as the home-standing Golden Hurricane would get, however, as the Tigers went on a 24-7 run over the remaining 25 minutes to close out an impressive 66-42 win.
The 108 combined points are the most scored in an FBS game this season.
With the win, the Tigers pushed their record to 7-0 on the season. It’s also the U of M’s 14th straight win, behind only Ohio State’s 20 straight and TCU’s 15 in a row. It’s also yet another sign that Paxton Lynch should move his way toward the forefront of the Heisman discussion sooner rather than later.
A redshirt junior who is also fast playing himself into the upper-half of the first round of the 2016 NFL draft if he so desires, Lynch finished Friday night’s game with a school-record 447 yards and four touchdowns on 32-of-44 passing. It’s the sixth straight 300-yard game for Lynch this season, and his second 400-yarder.
Lynch was the triggerman of an offense that posted 704 total yards, which also included 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 14 carries by Jamarius Henderson. Arguably more impressive, Keyarris Garrett caught 13 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns in the losing effort.
Entering Week 8, there were four Group of Five teams that were undefeated. No. 22 Temple held serve Thursday night, with Memphis doing the same a day later. The other two figure to do the same as No. 19 Toledo faces 1-5 UMass and No. 21 Houston goes up against winless UCF.