College Football Junkie

A Blog To Share My Tour of College Football

Memphis Tigers vs. Arkansas State Indians game

Posted by Strickland on February 2, 2007

Memphis Tigers–23 vs. Arkansas State Indians–26
Memphis, TN–Liberty Bowl
Date of Game:  October 14, 2006

Liberty Bowl entrance signAt the time, I lived in Jonesboro, AR, where Arkansas State University is located.  The distance from the two universities is about 1 1/2 hours.  Probably less.  Arkansas State is in the Sun Belt Conference while Memphis is in Conference USA.  This game is big, mostly for the Arkansas State fans.  Arkansas State fans like to play Memphis in Jonesboro because of the revenue it brings to Jonesboro.  Plus, the fans from Memphis, like any other big school, come and supports their team.  Arkansas State fans like to travel to Memphis because fans like to go to Memphis to eat at some great restaurants.  Also, some wives drop off the husband at the game while they go shopping.  And, the little school is playing the big school.  There can always be an upset when that happens.

So, my wife and kids went to the game with some friends of ours from Jonesboro.  It was the first college football game for my son, Samuel, and my daughter, Grace, had already been to a game at Arkansas State.  One of our friends that went was a student at Arkansas State and he dated a girl while in high school and she attended Memphis.  The day started off cool and then got warmer while we were in the stadium.  We ended up sitting under the press-box area because of the shade.  We could sit anywhere.  Memphis was having a down year [they finished the year 2-10 and there wins were against Division 1-AA Chattanooga and UTEP].  Memphis was 1-4 coming into the game against Arkansas State with the win against Chattanooga.  Arkansas State was 3-2 coming into the game at Memphis with wins against Army, Florida International, and Louisiana-Monroe [they finished the year 6-6, but they did not receive a bowl bid although they qualified with the six win minimum].

The game went back and forth.  Arkansas State really did a great job the whole game.  They had a lot of momentum.  At halftime, Arkansas State led Memphis 17-6.  Fast forwarding to the 4th quarter, Memphis was leading 23-20.  It came down to the last play of the game.  Everybody was up on their feet in the stands.  The line of scrimmage was to far away for a field goal to tie the game.  Arkansas State’s website explains the rest:

“With the clock reading :00, Arkansas State receiver Patrick Higgins jumped high in the end zone among a throng of Memphis defenders to catch a 53-yard pass from quarterback Corey Leonard to lead the Indians to a come-from-behind 26-23 victory over the University of Memphis Saturday in the Liberty Bowl.”  [Here is the full article from Arkansas State University’s website.]

Everybody was going crazy!  I couldn’t believe it!  Honestly, I cannot remember when I saw a “Hail Mary” in person.  The game is known as the “Memphis Miracle” in Jonesboro.  It was just a great game to see.  My wife and the rest of our friends, except for the two students, went shopping mid-way through the third quarter.  They missed everything and had to hear it from us.

Here is the website from Memphis University that has an article about the game.  Here are the stats from the game from Arkansas State.

I’ll load some more pictures soon about my day at the Liberty Bowl.

Getting ready for the last play of the game. Celebration of the “Hail Mary” 


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