Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Oct. 6, 2012

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Memphis Head Coach Justin Fuente
I am awfully proud of the defense, having gone through some of the things they have gone through the past couple years and this year, quite frankly. To keep plugging away, keep staying competitive and playing with emotion, and then, to finally find a way to come out on top. I'm extremely happy and proud of those kids in the locker room. Obviously it wasn't pretty, but we found a way to get it done. Defense was outstanding. We put them in some bad spots they just came through.

On Staying with the running game
We didn't want to go away from it, I know that. You get in that spot where you are not doing much offensively, you want to keep running the ball. You are a little concerned that you may get too far behind to stay with it, and fortunately the defense kept us in the game so that we could continue to try to run the ball. We felt like we could have some success, for lack of a better term, get out of our own way at times, running the ball and hold on the ball, my goodness. That obviously helps.

Another gloomy night, another delay here we go again what did you do to get them to come back out in the second half?
Part of it was the kids wanted to go back out and play. They really did. They are getting more invested in the program. And when you do that it becomes harder and harder to give in. We are still finding our way when it comes to that. I told them `listen, we are only down 10 and we haven't really done anything offensively, we have given them seven points on one drive, and all these things have happened and we still have a chance to win the ball game.' We have put ourselves in this position, really two weeks in a row previously, and let's go get over the hump. Let's go finish it off.

Post-game celebration, it seemed a little cold for a Gatorade shower.
Well I was a little shocked, but you need to, my message to the team after the game was you need to enjoy this. You need to represent the university and our program tonight, and you need to show up tomorrow ready to go back to work. I'm proud of you, you did a good job, but we need to keep going. We got to sing the fight song, which was fun we really enjoyed it.

If you were to give out a game ball tonight, who would it go to?
I think the defense in general, which really kept us in the ball game. It's hard to single out one guy and you know, put the star on his chest. But the defense in general played lights out for us. It was awesome

The onside kick didn't work, was there a moment after where you thought `I wish I hadn't done that?'
When those things don't work, you take a chance. Schematically the execution was not there. Those are the things we work on every single week on special teams. We didn't execute and the defense bailed us out again. When the defense is playing like that, it is a little bit easier to take those risks. And you know quite honestly that in order to really score, it helps to have a little shorter field.

Rice Head Coach David Bailiff

Opening Statement
"The opening play of the game, we created a turnover and scored a touchdown, then go up 10-0, then manage to not score a point the rest of the game. First off, we had a lot of stupid, selfish penalties, you can't have those. We talk to the team all of the time about being the hardest-working and smartest team, we did not play smart; it led to a lot of penalties and some turnovers. This is a game that obviously will hurt, this is a game we had great opportunities to win, but we didn't seize the moment."

What changed in the second half defensively?
"We have to get off blocks. We've got to make plays. We had missed tackles, you can't do that. Other than the trick play where they broke fast and put the tackle out there and put number 40 in the slot, it was us. I have got to get this football team ready to play; I've done a poor job of that. We've got a lot of work to do."

On what happened on their last offensive drive that could have potentially won the game.
We had seven play drives, eight play drives and nine play drives and could not get points. My hats off to Justin Fuente, he's done a great job of keeping those guys together.



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