Brady White threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night as No. 24 Memphis toppled No. 15 SMU 54-48 at home, ending the Mustangs’ hopes of an unbeaten regular season.
Both teams are 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference West, but it was the Tigers that bolstered their hopes of a third straight division title and a chance for the Group of Five’s berth in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day.
White completed 19 of 33 passes, hitting Antonio Gibson for a 50-yard scoring strike and Damonte Coxie for touchdowns of 24 and 49 yards. Gibson added a 97-yard kickoff return to start the second half and a 78-yard scoring run with 9:31 left in the game, finishing his night with 386 total yards (97 rushing yards, 130 receiving, 159 kickoff return).
In front of a sellout crowd at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis posted its sixth straight win over SMU. Both teams are a half-game behind Navy in the division, although the Tigers own a tiebreaker edge on the Midshipmen by dint of a September win over them in Memphis.
Quarterback Shane Buechele completed 34 of 54 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns for the Mustangs, starting the scoring with a 16-yard strike to Kylen Granson at the 5:49 mark of the first quarter. The duo hooked up on a 30-yard touchdown with 12:49 left in the game that pulled SMU within 40-32.
But Coxie and White teamed up for their second score of the night, followed just over two minutes later by Gibson’s long touchdown run that featured a pair of whiffed tackles. That made it 54-32, and although the Mustangs rallied with a pair of late scores, it was too much to overcome.
Coxie caught seven passes for 143 yards for the Tigers, while Gibson finished with 130 yards on six receptions. SMU’s James Proche collected 13 catches for 149 yards with a touchdown and teammate Rashee Rice bagged 122 yards on seven grabs.
The teams combined for 27 penalties for 242 yards.
—Field Level Media