The Memphis Tigers lost their second game to start the season, 17-15 to the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Memphis was down 14-3 early, but fought back to take a 15-14 lead. However, they gave up a third and 14 through the air in the waning minutes to set up the game-winning field goal.
In the midst of this was freshman quarterback Paxton Lynch, who made his second start of his career and his first on the road. He finished the game 19-of-27 passing with 170 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions that led to MTSU points. Both mistakes were simply from not noticing the defender in coverage, something he will get better at with time.
What made his outing impressive though was how he handled himself after making those mistakes. Many freshmen quarterbacks would have been rattled and had their confidence shot after tossing two picks, but Lynch just kept plugging away.
He led the Tigers on their only touchdown drive of the night after making those mistakes, and threw the go-ahead score. Even on the drives after throwing the interceptions, he kept his poise and attention on the task at hand. He showed his arm off some more as well, making fast and accurate throws.
What also stands out about Lynch is how he surveys the field to find the open guy. A lot of freshmen only look for their first or second option, but he consistently checked until he found who he wanted, which is indicated by him completing passes to eight different players.
The result isn’t what fans wanted, but Lynch is part of a program that is getting better and better. The program is in good hands under head coach Justin Fuente, and he made the right decision naming Lynch the starter. His potential is high. Just give him the time to fulfill it.