Chris Naggar kicked a 43-yard field goal with nine seconds left and SMU beat No. 25 Memphis 30-27 on Saturday, after the Mustangs blew an early three-touchdown lead against a team playing its first game in four weeks.
Memphis (1-1), which because of COVID-19 issues hadn't played since winning its opener Sept. 5, was driving for a potential go-ahead score when Brady White was sacked and fumbled with 1:25 left. That set up the final drive for SMU (4-0), which never trailed.
Shane Buechele was 32-of-45 passing for 474 yards and three touchdowns. That included catch-and-run scores of 70 and 85 yards to Reggie Roberson before the star receiver left the game with an apparent left knee injury late in the third. Roberson finished with five catches for 243 yards.
White was 29-of-42 for 380 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Damonte Coxie had eight catches for 169 yards.
Memphis last played a month agao against Arkansas State. The Tigers didn't play their next two scheduled games and had an 11-day gap without practicing because of positive COVID-19 tests in the program.
SMU had a 24-3 led after Roberson's 85-yard score early in the second quarter. Buechele stepped up in the pocket and hit Roberson near the 25, where the receiver made a defender miss and then took off down the sideline.
After the two teams traded turnovers in the final minute of the first half, Memphis was within 27-20 on Riley Patterson's 56-yard field goal as time expired. The Tigers got even at 27 on White's 5-yard TD pass to Tahj Washington late in the thrid quarter.
Memphis: A tough loss for the defending AAC champion Tigers, who were obviously rusty coming back and likely affected by conditioning late. White and the offense can still pile up the yards, with 585 against SMU.
SMU: While the Mustangs are 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1983-84, there are concerns because of the injuries to their top receiver and starting tailback. Roberson didn’t play again last year after a right foot injury in the eighth game of the season. Starting tailback TJ McDaniel suffered a gruesome lower left leg injury on the first play of the game. He had to taken off the field on a cart.
Memphis: After waiting so long to play, the Tigers now have a scheduled open date before hosting No. 11 UCF on Oct. 17.
SMU: A week off before playing at Tulane on Oct. 16.