JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — True freshman Seth Henigan threw five touchdown passes, three to Calvin Austin III, who had a career night with 239 yards, and Memphis held off Arkansas State 55-50 on Saturday night.
The teams combined for 1,361 yards of offense — with the Red Wolves (1-1) outgaining Memphis (2-0) by just a yard — with 1,001 coming through the air.
James Blackman relieved Layne Hatcher at quarterback for the Red Wolves late in the third quarter and went 19 of 28 for 308 yards passing and four touchdowns, including two in the final four minutes to get Arkansas State close before a final Hail Mary failed as time ran out.
Henigan was 22-of-33 passing for 417 yards while redshirt freshman running back Brandon Thomas rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis. Sean Dykes had 143 yards receiving and two scores.
Jeff Foreman had eight catches for 198 yards and Te’Vailance Hunt nine for 123 for Arkansas State.
There were seven touchdowns in the game that covered 50 yards or more. Austin’s 55-yard TD early on gave Memphis a lead it would keep, going up 34-23 at halftime and 41-30 after three quarters.