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Memphis makes power moves

MEMPHIS — Paxton Lynch and the upstart Memphis Tigers showed that their high-scoring offense can work against anybody.

Even a ranked opponent from the mighty SEC.

Lynch threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns to lead Memphis over No. 13 Mississippi 37-24 in a convincing win that showed the Tigers might just be the best team outside the Power 5 conferences.

Memphis has won 13 straight dating to last season, the third-longest streak in the nation; Ohio State (20 in a row) and TCU (15) won Saturday night. It was the first win for the Tigers over a ranked opponent since 1996.

And with No. 21 Boise State getting blown out Friday by Utah State, Memphis — along with American rivals Temple and No. 24 Houston plus No. 22 Toledo of the MAC — is involved in a wide-open race for a New Year's Six bowl berth guaranteed for the best team from outside Power 5 leagues.

Ole Miss led 14-0 less than six minutes in — partly thanks to a 68-yard touchdown pass by receiver Laquon Treadwell on a trick play — but Memphis responded with 31 unanswered points.

"We got down early and there were a couple of long faces on the sideline, but we knew we had to keep plugging away," Lynch said. "We knew early in the game we were moving the ball on them."

The Rebels were within 31-24 later in the third quarter, but got no closer. Treadwell caught a school-record 14 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Lynch completed 39 of 53 passes. It helped that he had plenty of time to throw.

At the end, jubilant fans poured onto the field to celebrate. Lynch — who else? — was the main attraction.

"I got hit harder in that (postgame) pile than I did the whole game with all those fans smacking me on top of the head," Lynch said.

Ole Miss' Chad Kelly completed 33 of 47 passes for 372 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Robert Nkemdiche, the Rebels' all-SEC defensive tackle, was injured running the ball in a short-yardage situation. The team said the 6-foot-5, 296-pounder suffered a concussion and he didn't return.

UCF falls to 0-7

PHILADELPHIA — Temple improved to 6-0, tying its best start ever, and kept UCF's miserable season trending in the wrong direction as the Owls topped the Knights 30-16.

Temple broke open a close game with 16 fourth-quarter points, and Jahad Thomas ran for two touchdowns and the Owls were successful on two 2-point conversions.

UCF, which came in second to last among 128 Division I-A teams with 275 offensive yards per game, was held to 134 Saturday — 67 rushing and 67 passing.

East Carolina 30, Tulsa 17: James Summers threw for 127 yards and had two total touchdowns, and cornerback Josh Hawkins returned an interception 100 yards for a score for the host Pirates, who led 20-0 at halftime. East Carolina has won 25 straight when leading at halftime.

Memphis makes power moves 10/17/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 17, 2015 11:41pm]
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