Henigan’s first pick becomes turning point for Tigers in Mississippi State win

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:20 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - While the Calvin Austin III 94-yard punt return has stolen the spotlight as the biggest play of the Memphis-Mississippi State game, Seth Henigan’s third-quarter interception was the biggest turning point in the game.

The Tigers were down 17-7 at the half and to start the 3rd they went for it on 4th and 1 on their own 34.

Henigan threw his first pick, but he also made the touchdown-saving tackle. That’s when the Memphis defense took over and held the Bulldogs scoreless on the drive, Quindell Johnson, swatted a ball away on 4th down.

So what turned to be a bad stat in the pick, went to the defense getting another red-zone stop and Henigan shrugging off his first career interception to sustain a 98-yard scoring drive, connecting with Calvin Austin III to make it a 3-point game.

Head Coach Ryan Silverfield says that series of events was a reflection of Henigan’s poise.

“An 18-year- old that just threw his first pick is probably the biggest game of his career definitely against the best defense he’s seen in his life. To be able to sit there and sustain a long drive like that, 98 yards, and put together plays, run and pass that speaks volumes of his execution and his understanding and his demeanor,” said Silverfield.

“That whole swing right there that was the difference in the game. I think that showed a lot of resiliency and it wasn’t perfect on Saturday, but we found a way to win and that’s what good teams do,” said Offensive coordinator Kevin Johns.

The Tigers had less than 250 yards of total offense and still found a way to win against a P5 opponent. They look to go 4-0 when they host UTSA Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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