Sept. 2, 2012
Final Stats |
Memphis Head Coach Justin Fuente
"I was proud of some aspects of our program tonight. I was proud of the way we fought back. I was obviously not proud of our execution offensively, with the fumbles. I thought our defense battled hard and proud of that. I was not proud to see the penalties that we had in the fourth quarter though. Those types of penalties are something that we will not tolerate, but it was a rough loss."
What are your thoughts on the penalties late in the game?
"It was very tough, but I'd have to look at some of them again. One of them, you're trying to make a tackle and sometimes you get ahold of a horse collar or facemask. Sometimes those things happen occasionally, but personal fouls are inexcusable and we will not tolerate that. I think we had one more that was a facemask or something like that, but that absolutely affected the game. I told the kids that I knew they were going to play hard and play smart. We played some smart and savvy football at times, but penalties are only one of the reasons we lost the game."
Take us through the lightning delay. Was there ever any thought of cancelling the game?
"Well, essentially there were some clarifications that we had to get on what rules we were under. Obviously, it was a non-conference game with Conference USA officials so we had to all get on the same page. Basically, once we figured out what guidelines we were operating under, I thought there was absolutely no reason we wouldn't play out the game, unless it just got to be ridiculous at like 3 a.m."
UT Martin scored two touchdowns out of the delay. Did that impact your team?
"No. I think it was the offense and the inability to get anything going and sustain a drive, which hurt us. The delay was the same for both teams and I thought we came out ready. They converted a third-and-long and their quarterback, who is a fine player, ran around there for a little bit. We were kind of stopping them and then they made a couple of big conversions. We then came out and ran two plays and ran the ball pretty well and then stymied out. They obviously played better, scoring more points, but I didn't think that was because of the break."
What did you think of the fumble by Keiwone Malone at the end of the game?
"Well, I guess he fumbled the ball. I can tell you what I thought I saw, but all you can ask for is them to review the play. They got the call right and went upstairs and looked at it. The only way I'd have a beef with it is if they said they weren't going to review it. They reviewed it, looked at it and there we go."
UT Martin Head Coach Jason Simpson
Talk about the way your team came back after sitting for two and half hours during the weather delay.
"Both teams had to sit, so I don't think there was any advantage. We have a lot of guys who have a lot of maturity and a lot of snaps, the most you can ask for is to get to the second half and have an opportunity. No matter how bad you have played or what the rain delays were you, you're 7-7 at the half, you're 10-7 at the delay, and then you have the lead, all you can ask for as a coach is that your leadership takes over."
Were you worried about Cody Sandlin kicking the game winner after missing field goals earlier in the game?
"I'm not going to say I wasn't worried. We lost our deep-snapper tonight, we'll get him back next week. Sometimes he's a little off. It was a pressure situation. We gave him the game-ball, he made it when it counted."
On Memphis head football coach Justin Fuente.
"Coach Fuente and his staff are class guys. Visiting with him before the game and during the delay, I appreciate him. He'll get this thing going. I take my hat off to him, the kids were great after the game and showed first-class. This program will get going in the right direction."
You've talked about "go mad and make a difference," did you make a difference tonight?
"We got a lot of things we can clean-up. We had three missed field goals, two interceptions, a fumble and a blocked punt. Yeah we can make a difference. Last year we would have lost that game by 30-points with that many mistakes. To find a way to win it gives us some confidence that we can overcome adversity."