Memphis Defense Leads to Victory over Navy

Memphis Football Final: Memphis 10 Navy 7
University of Memphis Football beat Navy
University of Memphis Football beat Navy Photo credit USA Today

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — (COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS/ATHLETICS) Memphis overcame a deficit to win for the fifth time this season as the Tigers topped Navy 10-7 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

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Memphis (6-2, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) trailed 7-0 before tying the game on a 14-yard touchdown from Brady White to Calvin Austin III with 3:52 remaining the opening quarter.

The game remained deadlocked until placekicker Riley Patterson connected on a 26-yard field goal with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter.

Defense provides clutch plays

Memphis' defense came up with several big plays in clutch situations. The Tigers held the Midshipmen (3-5, 3-3) to just 2 of 13 on third down and denied Navy twice on fourth-down attempts.One of the biggest plays of the game came from redshirt freshman linebacker Cole Mashburn when he recovered a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter to set up Patterson's game-deciding field goal. Mashburn had a career-high nine tackles.

Defensive backs Quindell Johnson and Sanchez Blake led Memphis with 12 tackles each. Johnson also had an interception, and Blake forced the fumble Mashburn recovered.

"Tonight, great job by the defense," said Memphis head coach Ryan Silverfield. "I am really proud of them, they played a complete game, forced two turnovers and did what it took. Obviously, they carried this team today."

Memphis defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre is now 4-0 in his career against Navy. He previously faced the Midshipmen twice as head coach at San Jose State (2011 and 2012) and once as the defensive coordinator at Duke (2008).

Another win in November

Memphis has now won its last 16 games played in November. The Tigers finish 2020 3-0 in the month with wins over USF, Stephen F. Austin and Navy. The streak began with a 34-7 win at Cincinnati on Nov. 18, 2016.

Dykes sets school record

With a 3-yard catch in the first quarter, senior tight end Sean Dykes set a new Memphis record for career receiving yards by a tight end. He now has 1,109 career receiving yards, surpassing Joey Magnifico for the most by a tight end in program history.Dykes is the first Memphis tight end to break 1,100 career receiving yards. He had six catches for 47 yards and a game-high nine targets against Navy.

Another winning season

Saturday's victory clinched a school-record seventh consecutive season with a winning record. Memphis previously had a streak of six winning seasons from 1959 to 1964. The Tigers were 5-5 in 1965 before following with five more consecutive seasons with a winning record.

Up next

Memphis will travel to New Orleans next week to face Tulane at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN+ from Yulman Stadium. Memphis and Tulane were initially set to play Nov. 28, but several postponements forced a reshuffle of the AAC schedule.

The Tigers hold a 23-12-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Green Wave, including victories in 12 of the last 13 matchups. Memphis defeated Tulane 47-17 last season at the Liberty Bowl. The Green Wave won 40-24 in 2018, the last time the teams met in New Orleans.