Read in browser
 
The Daily Memphian – Truth in place.
 
 
Tigers Football Insider: Owens emerging in the secondary
 
By
 
University of Memphis defensive back Rodney Owens (30) drags down an Arkansas State player during the Tigers' home opener at the Liberty Bowl Sept. 5, 2020. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)
 

University of Memphis defensive back Rodney Owens (30) drags down an Arkansas State player during the Tigers' home opener at the Liberty Bowl Sept. 5, 2020. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Welcome to the new Tigers Football Insider. Each week, we’ll bring you the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Steven Johnson, Geoff Calkins and Don Wade. 

So far, the Tigers’ season started out on a relatively high note, with a 37-24 win over Arkansas State despite being short-handed on defense.

Defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre talked at length in the preseason about Memphis needing to have guys in the second and third string ready to go in this new COVID reality.

One of those players who was thrust into a larger role earlier than expected was defensive back Rodney Owens.

Playing a hybrid safety/nickel on Saturday against the Red Wolves, Owens was a fresh face who turned in a solid performance. 

At his weekly availability, head coach Ryan Silverfield went out of his way to praise how Owens filled in.

“Really happy with the way Rodney played. He stepped into that role being able to play back in the secondary. He was a young man that I recruited out of high school in Nashville and when he came, we were wondering, ‘Okay, does he have to be an in the box safety, more of a run-stopping guy?’” Silverfield said. “What he’s been able to show us since he’s been with us is that he’s grown a lot. He’s gotten stronger; he’s actually gotten faster.” 

Silverfield also praised Owens’ intelligence and toughness as well as his contributions on special teams. Owens could be a name to watch on defense going forward.


More from your Insider


Timing of early bye week ideal for U of M defense

Coach Ryan Silverfield has plenty of things he wants his football team to clean up before hosting Houston on Sept. 18 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Memphis football: Five stars from Saturday’s win against Arkansas State

It’s time to take a look at the Tigers who performed exceptionally well during their season opener at the Liberty Bowl, from tight end Sean Dykes to a certain defensive lineman who had a nice run on a fake punt.

Calkins: On a sweet, surreal night at the Liberty Bowl, Memphis opens its pandemic season with a win

The band was masked, the stadium was nearly empty of fans. But the Tigers won a football game at the Liberty Bowl Saturday night. For now, that will have to do. 

Memphis defense buckles down, but it wasn’t an easy win against Arkansas State

Down multiple starters, the Tigers' defense made a key adjustment, and some well-timed offense led to a successful season opener and coach Ryan Silverfield’s first victory.

Memphis delivers a triumph for coach Ryan Silverfield

Brady White threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the win against Arkansas State.

 
 
View this article on our website

Support quality, local journalism and access exclusive content by becoming a subscriber at dailymemphian.com.

.....