MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Riley Ferguson threw three touchdown passes and Memphis took advantage for five turnovers by No. 25/24 Navy to hand the Midshipmen their first loss 30-27 on Saturday.
Navy quarterback Zach Abey ran for 146 yards for Navy (5-1, 301 American), but the Tigers held the nation’s leading running game 100 yards under its 416-yard average. Abey surpassed 1,000 yards rushing this season with a 28-yard run late in the fourth quarter, but was responsible for all five turnovers.
Memphis (5-1, 2-1) beat a top-25 opponent for the third straight time, including two this season.
Ferguson passed for 279 yards and Anthony Miller had 10 receptions for 90 yards and two TDs.
The Tigers took a 20-19 lead on a 42-yard field goal by Riley Patterson late in the third quarter, the game’s fifth lead change. Memphis extended its lead to 27-19 by piecing together a 99-yard scoring drive early in the fourth, capped by an 8-yard TD pass to Miller.
After another 42-yard field goal by Patterson in the fourth made it 30-19, Navy trimmed to deficit to 30-27 with 3:25 to go and had one final opportunity in the final two minutes. But Memphis linebacker Austin Hall ended the comeback try with his second interception with 1:42 to go.
Navy rushed 36 times for 155 yards in the first half and dominated time of possession. The Midshipmen controlled the ball for 20:06 minutes of the opening half.