Aug. 30, 2014
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|| Justin Fuente, Memphis Head Coach
"First of all, I want to thank the fans for braving the weather and supporting this team and this program. It means a lot to our kids. I want to say something about Austin Peay. Those kids battled hard. I know Coach (Kirby) Cannon is going through a rebuilding process. He ought to be proud of the way his kids competed today.
"We have a lot of things we can get better at. We made plenty of mistakes. There are a lot of things for us to coach off of. We talked about before the game how we were going to grade off of how we played. There were times where we played pretty well and times where we had some lapses in judgment. Overall, I'm pleased with how the kids prepared and went about their business to win the first game of the year."
On what can be improved upon...
"I don't know without watching the film. We put the ball on the ground a few too many times. We had a bad penalty on defense. We didn't adjust to some of the new things that they were showing. We played well at times. For us to continue to improve and take those steps toward the next level, we can't have those things in tight ballgames. We extended the ball down at the goal line when it wasn't fourth down. Those things can pop out the back of the end zone pretty quickly. We have several things we can continue to improve on."
On what he was pleased with...
"It was nice that we executed. That was going to be the key. We didn't do as good of a job on the perimeter as I would've liked from a physical blocking standpoint. We made that a huge emphasis, and it's disappointing that we didn't do a better job with that. It was nice to set the tone there, not knowing what the weather was going to do I wanted to get the ball to start the game. You never really know what's going to happen later in the game so I wanted to set the tone."
On the play of Paxton Lynch...
"I thought at times he was a little bit greedy. He made some nice plays running the football. The interception was underthrown which is not good. He made some other plays and handled everything very well."
On getting the younger players playing time...
"It's great for us to get that opportunity. We wanted to take full advantage of that without acting unprofessional. We wanted to really let our young kids play and play hard against a stranger. I thought they responded pretty well. Some young linebackers got in there and did some good things. Jarvis Cooper got in there and ran the ball well. Proctor got in there and mixed it up. I don't know that he had a catch, but he got in there and did a decent job."
On execution in the second-half...
"When they're out there, we want them to play the right way. It's a balancing act. We wanted to come out in the second half and play the right way. We made a decision to not try and score there before the half. We wanted to execute to start the second half and then get those guys out of there. We made it clear that we wanted those new guys out there to execute and play well. It's a delicate balance. We wanted them to do things the right way. I have a lot of respect for Austin Peay, and I don't want to get into a situation where we are doing something unprofessional."
|| Paxton Lynch, Sophomore Quarterback
On the offense's execution...
"We operated really well with everyone running in and out. We put the ball on the ground a couple of times, but luckily we were able to get it back. We need to cut down on that. We can't have turnovers like that."
On keeping the offense on the field in the no-huddle...
"It's very important because they (our defense) were getting three-and-outs. When we go no-huddle, it makes it a lot harder on them to get right back up off the bench. It's important for us to keep getting first downs and keep our defense rested."
On moving past his interception...
"I've been working on not letting that stuff get to me. Last year, I threw more interceptions than touchdowns. This year, I have to cut down on my mistakes and shake them off."
|| Bobby McCain, Senior Defensive Back
On the defense completing the shutout...
"It looks good on the scoreboard and for the program. It gives us a lot of confidence. That's what we expect from ourselves and our team. Our coaching staff did a great job. Putting up the shutout was a big deal because we haven't done it in a long time."
On the interception...
"I give all the credit to the front-seven. They get unbelievable pressure. They make it easy for us to go after the ball."
|| Brandon Hayes, Senior Running Back
On moving forward...
"We have to put this one behind us. We play a great opponent next week. We're going to have to focus and have a great week of preparation to get ready for UCLA."
On younger players getting playing time...
"It was great for us and great for the fans. It was nice to see those younger guys like Terrance Wallace and Jarvis Cooper. Both of them did a great job. It's great getting to see other guys get a chance to show what they can do."
On Jarvis Cooper...
"He was great. One guy couldn't bring him down. He had a 100-something yards. All he can do is build on this."
|| Kirby Cannon, Austin Peay Head Coach
"Several times defensively in the first half I thought we had some third-down possessions that we almost got off the field. They did a good job mixing it up. We really couldn't get a handle on whether they were going to run it inside, outside or some type of option play. Their passing game was okay, but it wasn't a night for a lot of balls to be in the air.
"We just have to get off to a better start. You can't kick the first kickoff out of bounds and let them start on the 40 (yard line). You can't throw a lazy pass out in the flat and let it get intercepted. Those things will just wear your defense down. You won't win a ball game if your defense has 55 plays in the first half.
"Over the entire game, we played a tremendous amount of kids, so you're going to lose some continuity there late. That didn't surprise me at all that they were going able to move the ball with all the freshmen we played tonight. I think our first group showed sparks here and there, but I never thought that they could just gouge us with their run game at any time. We were a little frustrated by knocking four balls out and none of them bounced our way. You just need a team effort and all of your systems clicking, and we're just not able to do that right now."
On Justin Roberson
"I've always been a fan of [Justin] Roberson. He's one of those guys that he is very explosive. He's also strong enough now that he just doesn't go down with a sneeze. Over the course of this season, he's going to have some long runs."
On tonight's performance
"It takes a lot of good things on offense to win ball games. We have to go out, and we have to sustain some drives. We have to be more consistent in our ability to just get the simple yards and not have negative plays. I think we learned what we've always known: offense is very difficult. You have to do a lot of things right. You can't just move the ball because you want to. You have to execute.
"Defensively, I think we learned that maybe we've got a little more competition at linebacker than we thought we had. I thought [Zach] Stuart and [Benedict] Louis both went in and played far better than our starters did. I was pretty happy with that. I think our secondary will be fine. The interception by [Roderick] Owens was a great play. I thought our defense was pretty good. We let one guy get loose on a wheel route and that can happen to anybody, but we'll get that fixed too."