JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- Two big defensive plays and frantic
fourth-quarter comeback gave Memphis (No. 25 AP) its first win as a
Tim Goodwell forced a fumble and returned it 10 yards for a
touchdown with 2:22 left and the Tigers scored 21 points in the
final three minutes for a 47-35 comeback victory over Arkansas
State on Saturday night.
Goodwell, who dislodged the ball from Arkansas State quarterback
Nick Noce, gave the Tigers (3-0) their first lead of the game,
Then it was Scott Vogel's turn. He intercepted a deflected pass
with 1:59 left to set up DeAngelo Williams' 16-yard scoring run
with 59.7 seconds remaining. Williams ran for 144 yards.
"That is our game," said Tigers coach Tommy West, whose team
moved into the Top 25 for the first time last week. "We got beat
on a lot of man coverage and blitzing but we are a pressure
football team and in the end it worked out for us.
"It is a great win for us and it feels good to win as I am sure
it hurts to lose one like this for them. They played well."
Memphis is 3-0 for the first time since 1973.
The win was far more difficult than expected. The Indians (0-2)
were three-touchdown underdogs who had been routed in their two
previous games by Missouri and LSU.
On the second play of the game, ASU's Nick Noce hit Chuck Walker
with a 65-yard scoring pass. The Indians added to that lead with
6:58 left in the quarter when he hit Jerome Stegall with a 28-yard
"It was a disappointing loss, no doubt about that," Arkansas
State coach Steve Roberts. "We played hard. They laid it on the
line and that is all you can ask out of them. To play with effort
"We had opportunities to win the ballgame but we didn't get it
Noce passed for a 418 yards and four touchdowns, both school
records, and Antonio Warren had 90 yards rushing for the Indians.
Wimprine had 356 yards passing and three touchdowns, two of them
to Tavares Gideon.
Before Goodwell's touchdown, the Tigers had trimmed the Indians'
lead to 35-33 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wimprine to Gideon
with 2:45 left.
Arkansas State had built a 35-26 lead on Noce's 18-yard
touchdown pass to Levi Dejohnette with 4:01 left.
Until the closing minutes, the Indians had an answer each time
the Tigers would draw close.
After Stephen Gostkowski's fourth field goal cut the lead to
21-19 with 5:05 left in the third quarter, Arkansas State
linebacker Josh Williams returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown
to rebuild the lead.
On the second play of the game, Noce hit Chuck Walker with a
65-yard scoring pass.
The Indians added to that lead with 6:58 left in the quarter
when Noce hit Stegall with a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Gideon caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wimprine on the
first play of the second quarter to trim the Indians' lead to
The Indians responded with Noce's third scoring pass, a
27-yarder to Jason Wood.
Memphis was able to narrow the margin to 21-16 at halftime on a
pair of field goals by Gostkowski. He hit from 41 yards and 24
The game was played before an Indian Stadium record crowd of