Out with a bang

Lynch ties FBS record for touchdown passes in a game in 63-0 win

By Chuck Livingston Sports Editor

MEMPHIS — If Saturday’s game against Southern Methodist University was indeed the last time fans will see the dynamic duo of Paxton Lynch and Justin Fuente on the Memphis sideline, they left with a bang. Lynch’s line was gaudy. The junior passed for 222 yards while completing 9 of his 14 pass attempts for a Football Bowl Subdivision record-tying 7 touchdowns. Oh, and Lynch did all of that in just two quarters under center. He was done for the day at halftime with his Tigers ahead 56-0. Perhaps even more impressively, the scoring throws went to 7 different receivers and Memphis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-0 blanking of SMU to finish their 2015 regular season at 9-3 for the second year in a row. As brutally efficient as the Memphis offense was, their defense was nearly as effective as that unit surrendered just 97 yards for the game, while forcing 5 turnovers. Interestingly, SMU dominated the time of possession in the first half of the game. The Mustangs (2-10 overall, 1-7 American Athletic Conference) were able to hold the ball for 21:30 to just 8:30 for the Tigers in the first half of play, but Memphis counteracted that by hitting for over 11 yards per play. By contrast, the Ponies were good for a shade over 1.5 yards per play in that same time frame. It was the first conference shutout for Memphis since 1971. Memphis led 28-0 after the first quarter and again scored 28 points in the second to clinch that big lead at the break. The Tigers will now wait to see what Fuente and Lynch decide about their futures. Lynch has been projected as high as a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and Fuente has been one of the hottest head coaching commodities around the country for the past two offseasons. Memphis will know its bowl destiny on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers won last season’s Miami Beach Bowl by topping BYU 55-48.

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