Memphis turns away SMU 31-26

Curtis Steele ran for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Brandon Ross added 111 more on the ground and another score to lead Memphis to a 31-26 win over SMU on Saturday.

Steele sat out the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. It was the first time since 2005 that two Memphis players have rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. Maurice Avery and DeAngelo Williams did it in 2005 against Houston.

Memphis (5-5, 3-3 C-USA) rushed for 306 yards and finished with 436 yards of total offense.

Logan Turner, who replaced an injured Bo Levi Mitchell, threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley with 38 seconds left to cut the Tigers lead to 31-26. The Mustangs failed to convert on the two-point conversion and Memphis recovered the Mustangs' onside kick attempt.

SMU (1-9, 0-6 C-USA) has lost 15 consecutive Conference USA games.

Memphis grabbed a 31-20 lead with 1:31 remaining after a 10-play, 77-yard drive which lasted 6:09 ended with a 24-yard field goal by Matt Reagan.

Brett Toney threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Singleton for a 28-20 Memphis lead with 12:59 left. Toney completed 9 of 19 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Turner's 21-yard touchdown pass to Beasley narrowed Memphis' lead to 21-20 with 3:31 left in the third quarter. Turner completed 19 of 31 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Mitchell injured his shoulder early in the second quarter when he attempted to throw a stiff-arm on a quarterback sneak. Mitchell was 5 of 7 for 83 yards.

Steele and Ross each ran for a touchdown in the first quarter to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

Mitchell connected with Emmanuel Sanders for a 53-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 left in the first quarter and Thomas Morstead converted on field goal attempts of 38 and 40 yards to narrow Memphis' lead to 14-13 at halftime.

Sanders led all receivers with 107 yards on five receptions.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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