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Tigers finish strong against Southern


Memphis 2-0 after win over Jaguars MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With starting running back Patrick Taylor Jr. sidelined by injury, the responsibility for carrying the rushing load – and much of the offense’s load – fell into the hands, and onto the feet, of Kenneth Gainwell.

Gainwell stepped comfortably into the role and led the University of Memphis to a 55-24 victory over Southern University Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Gainwell rushed for a career- high 85 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 21-yard pass for another score against the Jaguars of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

“Kenneth Gainwell is a young man that prepares extremely hard every single day,” said Tigers coach Mike Norvell. “We ask him to do a lot. I thought he did an exceptional job. He averaged over five yards per carry. He’s developing into a heck of a player for us. I’m proud of him.”

In addition to Gainwell’s contributions, quarterback Brady White completed 17-of-21 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns — in the first three quarters – and receiver Damonte Coxie caught six passes for 112 yards, also in three quarters. Memphis (2-0) finished with 575 total yards, including 398 passing, and 23 first downs.

The Tigers limited Southern to 258 yards.

Southern scored on the game’s opening possession, requiring only five plays to go 75 yards. Jamar Washington took an option pitch from seven yards out and the Jaguars led, 7-0, with 13:28 to go in the first quarter.

The Tigers answered with a 23-yard Riley Patterson field goal on their first possession. And they grabbed the lead on their second possession as White found Antonio Gibson on a crossing pattern. Gibson sprinted 55 yards for the touchdown and broke several tackles during the final 30 yards to the end zone.

Memphis increased its lead to 17-7 shortly before the end of the opening quarter as Rodrigues Clark blocked a Southern punt at the Jaguars’ 27-yard line and Keith Brown Jr.

scooped and scored. The Tigers were limited to three first downs and 24 rushing yards in the quarter.

The Tigers play next Saturday at South Alabama in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. ESPNU will carry the game.

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