Tag:Andy Summerlin
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:39 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 9:32 am

QUICK HITS: No. 20 Mississippi St. 59, Memphis 14

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Despite suspending five players just before kickoff, the Bulldogs manhandling the overmatched Tigers from the opening kick, taking a 24-0 second-quarter lead and racking up 405 yards of offense by halftime. Running back Vick Ballard finished with a career-high 166 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns, and the Bulldog offense as a whole set a school record with 645 total yards.

WHY MISSISSIPPI STATE WON: The overwhelming advantage in talent and coaching over one of the worst teams in FBS, mostly. But State fans will be happy to see an offense that looked sluggish for much of 2010 flash some serious big-play potential. Chris Relf threw several precision deep passes, connecting for scores of 44 and 35 yards, and Ballard broke loose for touchdown runs of 35 and 66 yards. Redshirt freshman receiver Jameon Lewis even added an 80-yard score in garbage time.

If any of the suspended players were truly missed, it was starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox; the Tigers found enough room up the middle for running backs Billy Foster, Artaves Gibson, and Jerrell Rhodes to average a healthy 5 yards per-carry and combine for a total of 170. But Memphis's passing game (quarterbacked by first-year starter Andy Summerlin and true freshman Taylor Reed) was no match for the veteran Bulldog secondary, which held the Tigers to a miserable 4.2 yards per-attempt through three quarters. Much stronger foes await (starting with Auburn in Week 2), but the MSU defensive backfield looks SEC-ready.

WHEN MISSISSIPPI STATE WON: Tempting as it is to say "as soon as they successfully negotiated walking down the tunnel into the stadium," Memphis looked like they'd gained a modicum of second-quarter momentum when they foiled a State fake punt, turned it into a 21-yard Foster touchdown, and forced MSU to start their next drive at their own 2. But State went 98 yards in 5 plays to go up 31-7 with 1:51 left before the half, ending whatever shreds of competitive drama remained.

WHAT MISSISSIPPI STATE WON: By scheduling the game for Thursday, a couple of days extra preparation for Auburn. And by scheduling Memphis, a healthy sense of confidence that should let Mullen make the most of that extra time.

Posted on: March 17, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 1:26 pm

Memphis to lose its starting quarterback

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's a problem you generally don't want to deal with at any time, let alone on the first day of spring practice. With Memphis beginning its practice on Wednesday, it got a bit of a surprise from starting quarterback Ryan Williams as he's asked for his release from the program.

According to Williams' father, Rich Williams, his son has decided to leave the Tigers because head coach Larry Porter has decided to change the team's offensive scheme from a pro-style to a spread option attack. Which is what coaches tend to do after 1-11 seasons, and going 0-8 within conference play. Still, even when changing schemes, losing the quarterback with the most experience on your team seldom helps matters.

"Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program," Porter said Wednesday. "Obviously, the timing of this wasn't good, but I'd rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet."

Williams started ten games as a freshman last season, throwing for 2,075 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Williams took over for Cannon Smith last season, whom has now moved to safety. Another one of Memphis' backups last season, Tyler Bass, has transferred. Which means that the Tigers now go into the 2011 season with two quarterbacks on the roster in Will Gilchrist and Andy Summerlin. Both of whom are sophomores with now playing experience, and Summerlin is coming off of shoulder surgery.
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