MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Marquis Warford rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Hayes added 114 yards and another score as Memphis won its first game of the season with a 31-7 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday.
The Tigers (1-2) showed an offensive game unseen in its opening two losses, finishing with 505 yards of total offense.
The Memphis offense wasn't the only impressive part of the Tigers game. The defense held the Red Wolves (2-2) to 255 yards of offense. Memphis defensive end Martin Ifedi had 10 tackles, including 4½ for losses.
Arkansas State quarterback Adam Kennedy finished 20-of-37 for 166 yards, and threw his first interception of the year. J.D. McKissic scored the only touchdown on a 15-yard pass from reserve quarterback Fredi Knighten.
Red Wolves running back David Oku, who entered the game averaging 82 yards a game, finished as the leading rusher with 45 yards.
The Memphis victory prevented Red Wolves coach Bryan Harsin from attaining the best start for a coach in his inaugural season at Arkansas State since Bill Adams in 1939.
The Red Wolves entered the game having dominated the series in recent years, winning four of the last five games against the Tigers.
Memphis let their first two games slip away late, leading them to the winless start. They were tied with Duke early in the fourth quarter in the season-opener, but lost 28-14, and last week, Middle Tennessee State kicked a field goal with less than 2 minutes left for a 17-15 win.