September 26, 2022

The Tigers’ 37-13 Win Over Navy Was for The City

The city of Memphis needed something positive to happen for them after a horrific week of events! The community would get in the form of a Tigers victory over Navy 37-13. In a way, you could say that the Tigers “Aired out” their frustrations on the Midshipmen. After a bad loss in Starkville, the Tigers got a crucial conference opening win in an environment that had not been friendly in the past. This season’s victory is just the second in school history in Annapolis.  Let’s look at what led to this win and what it meant to the city.

KEYS TO VICTORY

HENIGAN AIRS IT OUT

 The Tigers chose to attack the Navy through the air! Sophomore quarterback Seth Henigan was 24/34 for 415 yards, and 2 Tds passes in his third career 400-yard game. He would finish the game with a 70.6% completion percentage which is a career-best for the talented signal caller. Henigan would spread the ball to eight different receivers, with WR, Javon Ivory, leading the way with a career-high seven targets for 89 yards on the day. The two touchdowns that came on the day were to tight end Caden Prieskorn, on the first score of the day, and wide receiver, Joe Scates on a 79-yard bomb in the 3rd quarter. That pass is Henigan’s longest passing touchdown of his young career. Seth has shown that he is a superior talent at his position. If he can continue this play, this offense and team could make some real noise in the American Conference In 2022.

Defense Flashed Their Claws

The Tigers’ defense came into this game licking their wounds and looking to get back to their standard of play. In years prior, this specific game has been a turning point for this side of the ball. This game was no different, as the Tigers faithful would see a new attitude from this team. Memphis would open their claws on the Midshipmen and be led by safety Quindell Johnson. He had a team-high 13 tackles {11 solos} combined with his second interception of the season in an incredible one-handed catch. Johnson was joined by linebacker Xavier “Zay” Cullens, who had nine tackles, to go with his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery. Defensively the Tigers created extra possession for their potent offense from Sylvonta Oliver as he would snag another Tiger interception for their second of the contest. In another excellent performance for this defense against this conference foe, it was refreshing to see them play well on the road.

HAS MEMPHIS FOUND THEIR KICKER?

In years past, Tiger fans have come to love the kickers in the program as much as any other player. With names like Stephen Gostkowski, Jake Elliot, and Riley Patterson, Memphis fans have clamored for another name to get behind in the kicking game. After a 2021 season that saw injuries at the position cause issues, this season has seen significant improvements. Memphis would hit the transfer portal in the offseason, bringing in Florida transfer Chris Howard, and have seen an immediate impact. In 2021 Howard went 31/32 on extra points and 7/9 in field goals. After going 3/3 {made 22, 37, and 38-yard attempts} Howard remains perfect for the 2022 season. This will need to continue for Memphis to continue the success of late.

WHAT THE WIN MEANT FOR THE CITY

As mentioned above, it had been an emotional week for Memphis. After making national headlines for heinous crimes committed in the town of Memphis, the community was hurting. You could feel the hurt in head coach Ryan Silverfield’s voice following the victory. In his interview, he was asked about the win. Silverfield didn’t hesitate to take an opportunity to talk to the city. Silverfield would say the following.

“First and foremost, let me give our thoughts and prayers to the city of Memphis; it’s been a tough week. Hopefully, we can bring a little bit of shining light during {this} hard week we’ve gone through.” – Ryan Silverfield

Silverfield would show that some games are about more than what happens on the field of play. Sometimes one game can change a city. One moment of happiness and elation can make an entire community, even if just for a few hours, forget these events. Many Tiger fans questioned Silverfield and his leadership following the week one loss. Still, after the emotion he poured out on national television, there is no question about who the man for the job is! The LOVE he has for the city is something Tiger fans have not seen in many years but are seeing be put on display now. The city of Memphis saw that the team, staff, and university shouldered the hurt and won it for MEMPHIS!

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