Postgame Quotes vs SMU
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Oct. 19, 2013

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  Memphis Head Coach Justin Fuente

Opening Statement
"First of all, I would like to thank everyone who came out this morning. I would like to apologize for the way we played in the first half. It was absolutely unacceptable. I would like to congratulate SMU and the way they came out prepared to play. They out-played us."

On schemes today
"They played well on defense. They had two weeks to prepare for this, but that is certainly not an excuse. SMU came out and played better than we did on both sides of the ball. I thought our special teams did a good job today. We will look at the film and we have a little bit of a long week to evaluate everything and see where we are at."

On Memphis offense not scoring
"My sense is it is a combination of several things. It's a developing offensive line, it's some young skill players, receivers and running backs, that show flashes of playing really well and flashes that make you want to pull your hair out. Even some of those guys that aren't young, they may be juniors or sophomores, they are new at least, and all that combines to flashes of playing really well and flashes of playing pretty poorly. We are not good enough at anything just to dominate throwing it or just running it. It's not like we can just line up and cram it down their throat right now and then throw a post every five plays. You get a little bit behind the chains and we are having a hard time making up for that. When it's perfect, we are pretty good, but when we have one little hiccup, it is hard to overcome it."

On play-calling, short passes
"I don't feel really good about holding onto it for long right now. We tried to push the ball down the field several times today and just got flushed out of the pocket. "

On Jacob Karam playing "I think about everything when it comes to both sides of the ball and special teams. Everything is given due consideration. We have things that we are working on at every position. That's the nature of the beast and I understand it as the head coach and a guy that used to play that position, and our kids that are in those positions need to understand it too. That spot gets an undue amount of praise and criticism. We have plenty of issues that we are working through right now on that side of the ball on a daily basis."

On explanation of fumble call
"I got an explanation. He thought his forward momentum was done and he blew them dead and that's not challengeable, and you can't even get upset about it because they cannot go back and look, it doesn't matter. That is what they saw, so you just kind of look at the guys and say okay there are a lot of people here that probably don't agree with that call. But those guys have a tough job. We have to earn the right to get the 50/50 calls and earn that portion of respect."

Thoughts on receivers
"We hit a couple of them and then we turned the corner loose right after the blocked punt. It was really poor execution. I was disappointed with the plays on both sides and I felt like going in, it was an advantage. I felt like the first half of this year and the last half of last year, that we dominated that perimeter game. All the wide receivers, we dominated it, tackled it and got it done and on offense, when we did it, we were pretty good at it. I did not feel that way today. Eventually, we have to stop it defensively and offensively, we got in a situation where we were a little bit taken out of that but we hit a couple of them. Sam had one of them that went through 10 or 12 or 13 yards but the one that sticks out in my mind was the one right after the blocked punt. We block a punt, and go run a perimeter screen into a pretty good look and the blocker looks inside instead of outside and it is poor execution."

On punt block
"We block a punt and everyone is excited and then we don't move the ball. We don't execute on the first down then we missed a field goal. But we have to be tougher than that. You are going to face adversity and things are not always going to go your way, but we have to be able to bounce back. To their credit, they made a stop and got off the field, but we have to be able to fight through that. Those things are tough, but so is life, you have to keep battling."

On defense (Ryan Coleman)
"I was proud of Ryan. He has been a really good addition for us, just as a teammate and a worker. He made a couple extraordinary plays. Obviously, it gave us spark. The interception then running all the way back and jumping into the end zone. Those were obviously huge plays to close the gap there."

On end zone rule
"I think it is a good rule, I really do. It is one thing if you are diving to keep from getting tackled, but I am not a big fan of that. I am a big fan of team celebration; I am big fan of playing with emotion and playing with your guys out there on the field. I am not a big fan of any form of individualism out there."

On words in the locker room
"Most of that is between me and the team. Obviously, it was two parts. I didn't like the way we started the football game and we addressed some things there that I felt led to that. Then I told them that they did battle their tails off in the second half and I felt like at halftime that maybe this was the most important two quarters of our program coming out because things had not gone well obviously in the first half. I told them exactly how I expected them to perform and what type of intensity and competitive nature and what I expected them to represent, and I felt like they did do that. There was admonishment and then there was a good job."

  Memphis Linebacker Ryan Coleman

On First Touchdown
"Coach talked about starting a fire and once you start the fire you've got to keep it burning. So we came out and knew we had to make plays. We practice stripping the ball every day at practice, so when I saw that it was loose I went for it. When it came out, my first thought was to run for the end zone."

On Second Touchdown
"We work drills every day about stacking. The first man down plays fast, so I start to play fast and attack the punt returner. Reggis Ball stacked off of me, and when he made contact, the ball started bobbling, as soon as it fell and hit the ground, my first reaction was to scoop and score."

On Team's Play in the Second Half
"We came out like we're supposed to come out. We should have come out like that in the first half. That's how we play defense and that's what we're supposed to do."

On what went wrong in the first half
"Lack of focus, it's not lack of talent or lack of assignment, it's lack of focus."

  Memphis Defensive End Martin Ifedi

On the Tigers' Play Today
"We came back in the second half and regrouped and rallied back into the game, we just needed a little more time.

On What Coaches Talked about at Halftime
"That this was going to define us -- whether we would give up or keep fighting, and we're going to keep fighting all season for the results we want."

On Looking Forward to Cincinnati Game
"We're going to carry that momentum from the second half into Cincinnati and have a solid week of practice."

On Extra Time Off Before Cincinnati Game
"I'd rather play every Saturday to be honest, I like playing every Saturday."

On Ryan Coleman's Performance with Two Touchdowns
"I've never seen that before. That was amazing. We told ourselves that as a defense we wanted to start scoring touchdowns and it happened for us."

  Memphis Running Back Brandon Hayes

On Play of Defense in Second Half
"It was a huge momentum swing when Ryan made that play. Our offense fed off of that and we were able to drive down the field. Reggis Ball made a great play and put us in the red zone, where we were able to capitalize on a score."

On First Half Play
"It was kind of painful. Both our offense and defense weren't executing. Our special teams were really keeping us in there, with that blocked punt, but we weren't able execute and score on that. We came out real flat, offensively as well as defensively. We weren't executing, we were doing stuff that wasn't in our character."

On Halftime and Second Half Turnaround
"Coach gave us a great motivational talk during halftime. All we needed was one spark and we got that from Ryan Coleman. It really changed the pace of the game. We fed off our defense's play. We kept telling ourselves we could still win this and we really started to believe it. It was a great last drive, but in the end it was just too big of a hole."

On Getting the Offense Ready For Cincinnati
"We're going to have to go back to fundamentals. Go back to our techniques and break down the simple things."

  SMU Head Coach June Jones

On "winning" attitude of his team
We have always had confidence, but I think you have to play with that confidence on a game day to keep it. You know, the loss at Rutgers had a lot of positives. Everybody out there was disappointed we lost that game, but there were a lot of positives. I think that carried over to today. Winning on the road is very hard. And winning on the road with some of those errors we made today is even harder to do. The kids hung in and got it done.

On togetherness of his team
We have a good group of kids. We worked hard on all those chemistry type of things you have to have to be a good football team. So they are not divided in the locker room in the locker room, so we think that allows us to always rally back from tough things that happen. Just like in today's game, we were able to rally back from some unbelievable things.

On SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert
The key is our quarterback (senior Garrett Gilbert). He is a really good football player and he is growing up. He is competitive and is doing all of the things you need to do to win football games. I was upset for him that he threw that interception at the end, but those things happen. He is really coming on. I am excited for his future.

On what he told his team in the fourth quarter
I just told them that we were not going to lose this game. So, somebody was going to have to go out and make a play.

On the Memphis running game
They are a running football team. That's what they want to do. They can make some plays. You know, they were getting seven or eight yards at a time. That's what you can get off of a quick throw to. I knew that they wanted to run like that.

  SMU Quarterback Garrett Gilbert

On today's victory
Our defense was lights out all day long. I think Memphis scored three touchdowns today, and they were all on us as an offense. That's a heck of win for us. The finish of the game is a matter of us needing to do a better job. Credit our defense for standing tall when they needed to, but we still need to get better.

On the play of the SMU offense
We knew we were facing a great defense. We feel like there hasn't been a game yet where we couldn't move the ball. For us, it's just a matter of finishing drives. We were able to do better on that today.

On the second half of today's game
We just shot ourselves in the foot. They are a very good defense, those numbers don't lie. Our offense can't make those mistakes and get them back into the game.

On the team's strong start in the game
That was very important. Starting off the game has been something we have struggled with. We can definitely build on what we did today with that fast start. We need to continue that.

  SMU Defensive End Beau Barnes

On his strong play recently
You know, I can't say what it is. It's really a team effort; I can't say it is just me. For a guy to get a sack or make a play, it takes a great effort from everybody else out there.

On the game plan against the Memphis offense
We always go out there knowing that if the other team doesn't score, we don't lose. That's our mindset. Memphis has a good offense, but we played good enough to win. We knew they had some strong running backs and some playmakers. So we know we had to take their playmakers out of the game. We wanted to get the ball back to our offense as much as we could.

On the mindset in the fourth quarter
Nobody panicked. We knew we had to keep doing what we had been doing all game. Memphis made some plays, we knew they were going to. But, we just had to weather that and make some plays of our own.



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