DALLAS (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State had high hopes of unwrapping one final gift of the 2022 campaign. 

Unfortunately for the Aggies, Memphis had other ideas and played the role of the Grinch. 

Seth Henigan passed for 284 yards and three first-half touchdowns, Jevyon Ducker rushed for 83 yards and two scores, and the Tigers stymied Utah State 38-10 in the First Responder Bowl on Tuesday at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium. 

Henigan was 15-of-21 for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone for the Tigers, who finished their season at 7-6. Eddie Lewis was on the receiving end of two of those touchdown passes as he caught five passes for 83 yards on the day. 

Cooper Legas started the game at quarterback for the Aggies, but suffered a game-ending injury in the third quarter and was replaced by true freshman Bishop Davenport. Legas was 7-of-12 for 34 yards and one interception, while Davenport was 7-of-9 for 100 yards with one touchdown and one interception. 

Davenport’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Brian Cobbs pulled Utah State to within 24-10 with 11:04 to go in the game. 

The Aggies then attempted an onside kick, but the Tigers recovered and put two more touchdowns on the board to thwart off any chance of a comeback by Utah State. 

Cobbs finished with six catches for 79 yards, while Calvin Tyler Jr. ended his Aggie career by rushing for 79 yards on 16 carries in front of dozens of family and friends in his home state.

Linebackers AJ Vongphachanh and Max Alford had nine tackles apiece to lead Utah State. 

The Tigers dominated practically every facet of the first half as they outgained the Aggies 273-89, had 10 more first downs (16-6) and maintained possession of the ball for more than 19 minutes. 

Memphis cracked the scoreboard first when Chris Howard booted a 26-yard field goal late in the first quarter. Utah State answered back with a 3-pointer of its own courtesy of a career-long 53-yarder from grad senior placekicker Connor Coles with 12:13 remaining in the second quarter. 

It was all Tigers after that. 

Memphis scored touchdowns on its final three drives of the half to take a 24-3 lead into the break. 

The Tigers finished with 430 yards of total offense, including 284 through the air and 146 on the ground. Conversely, the Aggies finished with 261 total yards – 134 via the air and 125 on the ground. 

This was the first meeting between Utah State and Memphis since the 1977 season. The Tigers have won three straight over the Aggies and lead the overall series 5-3. 

The Aggies won’t be easing into their 2023 schedule. They’ll open at Iowa on Sept. 2. Their most recent win over a Power 5 program was a 24-13 victory over Oregon State in last year’s LA Bowl.