Turnovers cost Blue Raiders in loss to Memphis

Conference season begins Saturday

September 18, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Turnovers and penalties were the name of the game for the Blue Raiders in a 24-17 loss to Memphis on Saturday night.

Middle Tennessee (1-2) committed four turnovers, three interceptions and a fumble, resulting in all 24 points for the Tigers (1-2). In addition to the four turnovers, the Blue Raiders had seven penalties for 74 yards after recording none in the first half.

Sophomore Logan Kilgore threw all three interceptions for the Blue Raiders and ended the game 16 for 26 for 161 yards and one touchdown from the air. Junior Jeff Murphy entered the game in the third quarter and was able to generate some offense for Middle Tennessee. Murphy ended the game 6 for 13 for 87 yards and ran for one touchdown.

Senior Garrett Andrews caught four passes for 40 yards while junior D.D. had nine rushes for 28 net yards.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders were led by junior Darin Davis and senior Jamari Lattimore. Davis missed the end of the first half after an injury but returned after the break to aid the defense. Davis recorded eight tackles, five solo, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss for seven yards. Lattimore had seven total tackles and two tackles for loss for 10 yards.

Middle Tennessee scored on its first drive of the game after Gendreau connected on a 32-yard field goal.

After scoring on its opening possession, the Blue Raiders were hampered by turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble, allowing Memphis to score 17 straight points.

The Blue Raiders regrouped quickly after the fumble scoring on four plays on the next drive. A 52-yard catch by Beyah from Kilgore put the first touchdown on the board for Middle Tennessee and cut the Memphis lead to seven, 17-10.

Kilgore threw his third interception of the game on the opening drive of the second half which Memphis again turned into points. After the interception, pass interference and facemask penalties put the Tigers on the 14-yard line. Then a nine-yard run by Ray handed Memphis a 24-10 lead.

Middle Tennessee changed its offense on the next possession going with Murphy who scored a touchdown after a one-yard run capping a 69-yard six play drive, 24-17, with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter.

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The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. when they face the Ragin' Cajuns of UL-Lafayette at 6 p.m. in Lafayette, La.

Game Notes

INJURIES MOUNTING: The Blue Raider offensive line has been bitten by a huge injury bug. The Raiders entered tonight's game without starting center Alex Stuart and starting guard Brandon McLeroy. In the second quarter, Middle Tennessee lost starting tackle Mark Fisher with an injury.

RAIDERS PERFECT STREAK ENDS: Middle Tennessee's offense entered the Memphis game a perfect 9-for-9 inside the red zone and had extended that streak against Memphis until late in the fourth quarter. The Blue Raiders were 2-for-4 against the Tigers to move their mark to 11-for-13 on the season.

LATTIMORE IN NINTH: Senior DE Jamari Lattimore came up with his first sack of the season and the 10th of his career early in the third quarter. The 10.0 sacks ties him with Thomas Johnson for ninth place on the all-time list.

DAVIS HAS CAREER PUNT: Freshman walk-on punter Josh Davis, who joined the team in August, boomed a career long punt of 78 yards late in the second quarter. The 78-yard punt tied for the third longest in school history and was just two yards shy of equaling the MT mark of 80 yards set by Sid Corban in 1956. Davis later added a 57-yard punt and placed all three of his four kicks inside the 20-yard line.

TURNOVERS HAUNTING MT: Historically under Rick Stockstill, the Blue Raiders have done an excellent job of protecting the football but that has not been the case in 2010. The Blue Raiders had four miscues against Memphis to run their season total to 10 and the Tigers scored 24 points off those turnovers.

GENDREAU TIES SMITH: PK Alan Gendreau connected on a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter for his 30th career field goal. That ties him with Colby Smith for sixth place on the all-time field goals made list. He needs five more three-pointers to tie Joe Lisle and Keegan Ray for ourth place (35).

QUICK HITTERS: For the first time ever, Middle Tennessee's uniform combination was white jerseys and gray pants and it was the ninth different uniform combo under Stockstill ... OL Mark Fisher made his team-high 38th career start and played in his 40th career game ... Senior Evon Lettsome made his first career start at left guard tonight in place of the injured Brandon McLeroy ... LB Darin Davis picked up his first career sack late in the first quarter ... WR Malcolm Beyah scored his first TD since the 2008 season when he hauled in a 52-yard reception in the second quarter ... Freshman LB Corey Carmichael made his collegiate debut ... Nathaniel Toulson punted late against Memphis and the kick was downed at the 1-yard line to give him three downed at the 1 this season out of six punt attempts and another was downed at the 2-yard line.

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