Tigers drop opener to UT-Martin | myFOXMemphis.com - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Tigers drop opener to UT-Martin

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Cody Sandlin kicked a 43-yard field goal with four seconds left to lift Tennessee-Martin to a 20-17 victory over Memphis in a weather-delayed season opener for both teams Saturday night.

"He made it when it counted," UT-Martin coach Jason Simpson said.

It looked like the game -- which was delayed 2 hours and 40 minutes in the third quarter by lightning and inclement weather at the Liberty Bowl from Tropical Depression Isaac  -- was headed to overtime when the Tigers' Keiwone Malone fumbled a punt.

Nate Rotero of the Skyhawks recovered the miscue at the Memphis 27-yard line with 17 seconds to play.

The loss was Memphis' first to a Div. I-AA opponent since 1989.

After a Tevin Barksdale 1-yard run and two timeouts, Sandlin connected on the game-winning field goal to ruin Justin Fuente's coaching debut with the Tigers, who tied the game 17-17 on Jacob Karam's 20-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Rucker with 52 seconds remaining.

Karam was 12 for 28 and threw for 157 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers (0-1). Memphis' Jerell Rhodes added 106 rushing yards on 24 carries.

UT-Martin quarterback Derek Carr passed for 211 yards and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Sims in the second quarter. D.J. McNeil scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter.

UT Martin (1-0) is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.

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