NCAA Football

Riley Ferguson, Memphis Hold Off Josh Rosen, UCLA in Wild 48-45 Shootout

September 16, 2017

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Memphis scored an entertaining 48-45 victory over No. 25 UCLA on Saturday afternoon at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson led the upset charge with 398 passing yards and six touchdowns. Wide receiver Anthony Miller was the main recipient as part of the high-powered aerial attack with nine catches for 185 yards and two scores.

Josh Rosen, a potential top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, had another strong showing for the Bruins with 463 yards through the air and five total touchdowns, including one on the ground. Darren Andrews tallied 175 yards and a TD on 10 grabs in the losing effort.

The contest was tied 7-7 after the opening quarter, and then all hell broke lose in the second as the teams combined for 37 points—20 for Memphis and 17 for UCLA. In all, the sides combined to put up 1,193 yards of total offense in the shootout.

ESPN highlighted a terrific catch and run from the Tigers’ Tony Pollard as part of the wild second quarter:

Memphis carried a three-point lead into the fourth period, but Rosen showed why he’s been surrounded by so much hype during the early portion of the season by leading a six-play, 99-yard drive to give the Bruins their first lead since just before halftime.

Chat Sports showcased the go-ahead score:

It was all Tigers from there, however. Ferguson responded to Rosen’s drive by leading his own 81-yard journey to the end zone, finding Phil Mayhue for a three-yard TD to regain the lead.

Then it was the Memphis defense coming up huge in crunch time. Terrell Carter picked off UCLA’s star quarterback in the red zone to keep the slight edge.

A failed fake field goal by the Tigers gave the Bruins one last chance to pull off the comeback, but Memphis stood tall one more time to secure the upset.

ESPN College Football spotlighted the final defensive stand:

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports praised the Tigers’ second-year head coach:

John Martin of ESPN 92.9 FM commented on the meaning on Memphis’ triumph:

ESPN Stats & Info added another note on the win:

Looking ahead, the loss brings a sudden halt to UCLA’s attempt to make a surge up the rankings. The Bruins will return to action next Saturday night for a high-profile Pac-12 clash with Stanford at Stanford Stadium.

Memphis is now a team to watch in terms of potentially making it deep into the season without a loss. The schedule is favorable, with the toughest tests being road games against UCF and Houston. The Tigers will remain home to face FCS opponent Southern Illinois in their homecoming game next Saturday.

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