In their second appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl in as many years Western Kentucky unleashed a scoring juggernaut to hold off a determined Memphis Tigers teams 51-31. It was an offensive game for the ages perhaps a lack of a defensive one as well. They struggled on their first possession of the game but made up on their next 4 possessions by scoring on each one of them. Guess it was pregame butterflies, then they got them out they knew how to move the ball. One player, in particular, unloaded everything senior running back (20) Anthony Wales had a blast gaining 245 yards on 35 carries and scoring three touchdowns. As if that wasn’t enough he added 84 yards on 4 catches close out his career winning the MVP Award.
The game was billed as one to be high scoring but nobody could predict the offensive game plan of trickery by interim head coach Nick Holt the defensive coordinator who’s filling in for newly hired Mike Sanford the Norte Dame offensive coordinator who’s taking over the program effective next season. Jeff Brohm has moved on to become the head coach at Purdue. (76) Forrest Lamp the big 300 lbs. left tackle scored on a 9 yard lateral as a tight end. They followed that with an exciting 53 yard fake kneel down by Wales going into halftime. It was a beautiful play but they failed to score throwing an interception.
Memphis had the lead early in the first quarter at 10-7 but the flood gates opened when Western Kentucky outscored them 34-7.
Memphis did make it interesting going down the stretch cutting the lead to 13 points at 44-31. QB Ferguson and WR Miller were determined to go down with a mighty fight connecting on two touchdowns the first was for 10 yards and the second on a 45 yard bomb.
Junior quarterback (4) Riley Ferguson played well setting a Memphis Bowl Game Record delivering 43 passes connecting on 25 for a passing total of 372 yards with one interception under tremendous pressure.
Redshirt Junior (3) Wide Receiver Anthony Miller had 11 catches for 151 yards and 3 touchdowns
But the Western Kentucky three headed monster of Mike White 336 yards passing with 3 touchdowns, Taywan Taylor 9 receptions for 144 yards and Wales at 245 yards rushing was just too much for Memphis to handle.
3 consecutive bowl game appearances for Memphis
”Coach Holt gave us great energy,” Wales said. ”We all love him, and we were able to show everybody how great we are.”
”I told the kids it has been two weeks of some of the happiest football of my life,” Holt said.
Memphis (8-5) lost in a bowl game for the second consecutive year. ”They’re good,” Memphis coach Mike Norvell said. ”A missed assignment, a bust in communication, and they can expose you.”
”The last time I scored a touchdown was probably in my backyard against my little brother,” Lamp said.