The artist formerly known as Memphis State (a.k.a. Tiger High) doesn't really have much to boast about when it comes to sports. They have an unbearable superiority complex when it comes to basketball which is utterly baffling, really. They trail our all-time series 13-8, 2 of their 3 Final Four appearances have been vacated, and they have exactly as many championships as we do, which is to say...zero. We have a much larger and well-deserved complex when it comes to football. It's quite simple: 21 out of 22 times we play Memphis, we win. And if replay existed in 1996, maybe it's 22 out of 22 (note to any Memphis fans: I said MAYBE...I'm not blaming the loss entirely on that one play, but it was a big one).
We usually win, but that's not to say there haven't been some scary moments. 1999 was horrifying (example #4,479,315 why we shouldn't go with the orange on orange combo), 2000 was close, 2005 was in doubt to the very end, and the list goes on. It's rarely enjoyable to watch, but I guess you can't really complain about 21 wins in 22 attempts.
On to the specific memories...
The bad: I don't honestly remember many of the details because I was 10, I watched the game on TV, and a lot has happened since then. Will reviewed this game during the "20 Losses in 20 Years" series...it's painful and comes complete with video evidence of elbow-to-turf contact. Not much sticks in my mind aside from that fact that some friends came over to our house soon after the game ended. I was a few minutes late in joining them because I'd been in my room attempting to pull myself together. Stupid, Memphis...
On the plus side, isn't it nice to not have to do a "Honorable Mentions" section regaling the horrors of other painful losses?!
The good: As I said in the intro, being the big brother in this series means the outcome doesn't often leave you satisfied. If you win by a lot, you were supposed to; if you win by a little, then it's always asked why didn't you win by more; and if by some catastrophic turn of events you lose, it's the absolute worst thing you can imagine.
Last year was one of those rare occasions where the win was more than satisfactory. Coming off the black-jerseyed beatdown of SCarolina, the last thing we wanted to do was lose momentum. Jonathan Crompton, quarterback extraordinaire, made sure that didn't happen. After letting Bryce Brown get the party started, Crompton was on absolute fire. He kicked it off with a touchdown to G Jones, 14-0. Then there was a dart to Stocker, 21-0. This was followed by a pass to Quinton Hancock, 28-0. Then Nuke got in on the action, 35-0. Just to be sporting, we let Memphis score with only 58 seconds on the clock to see if we could get in again before halftime...we did on a Crompton sneak. To make sure we all knew it was for real, he came out and threw another TD to DMo to start the 2nd half. Through 33 minutes of play, Crompton had 331 yards on 21-27 passing, 5 TD passes to 5 different receivers, and a rushing TD to boot. Coming out of a crazy 2007 season and a depressing 2008 season, it was nice to be reminded how much fun it can be to blow somebody out.
Honorable mentions: 2006 was also good, but the rest of my life has been filled with "closer than they should've been" games against the Tigers.
What do you guys remember about Memphis games, both good and bad? My general thought is that if we're not celebrating a win at 11 o'clock on Saturday night...I don't ever want to go back to Memphis.