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Memphis Tigers blow out Bethune-Cookman in season opener, 56-14

Transfer Blake Watson ran for three touchdowns in the first half

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Tigers opened the season in dominant fashion. Memphis defeated Bethune-Cookman, 56-14 to start the season 1-0.

Quarterback Seth Henigan overcame two fluke first half turnovers to finish strongly. He threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns.

It appears the Tigers may have a dynamic duo in the backfield, running backs Blake Watson and Sutton Smith put on a show. Watson, the fifth year transfer from Old Dominion, ran for 75 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were in the first half. He's the first Tigers running back to score three touchdowns in a half since Darrell Henderson did it in 2018 against UCF in 2018.

Sutton Smith added 115 yards and two touchdowns of his own.

Henigan's favorite target was Toledo transfer Demeer Blankumsee. The third year quarterback found Blankumsee for a 47-yard strike in the third quarter to put Memphis up 42-7. Blankumsee finished with 6 receptions, 98 yards and a touchdown. 

The defense held Bethune-Cookman to just 91 total yards, sacked the quarterback four times and forced a fumble. It was a strong showing for Andres Fox. The redshirt senior lineman stacked up five total tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He also added a pass break up. 

Memphis will face Arkansas State next Saturday, September 9 in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves were beaten by Oklahoma, 73-0 on Saturday.

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