Memphis/UT Martin Postgame Quotes
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Nov. 9, 2013

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  Memphis Head Coach Justin Fuente

Opening Statement
"First of all, I would like to thank everyone who came out tonight. I'd like to say that obviously UTM has a good squad. They battled hard, the whole game. They are well coached. I am happy that we won the game but there is a lot things that I do not like that we put out on display today. There is teaching and growth to be done from it. I anticipate that we will continue to get better and learn from it. I told the kids that I am happy for you but not very proud of you. I'm happy we found a way to win the ball game, it is a lot better than not finding a way to win but we can't do those things and we have got to be accountable to each other. There is a bunch of examples of us not doing that."

On the red zone defense
"We played decent defense as a whole and they did buckle down there in the red zone but early in the game, they ran the outside and inside zone at us pretty hard and we did not respond. They run every week, the outside zone and the inside zone. They really took it to us but obviously it gives us a chance because they buckled down in the red zone, they missed a couple of field goals and our guys did play good down there."

On penalties and turnovers
"The biggest thing for me was that we didn't handle the surge of them playing well at the first of the game very well. I felt like we didn't draw in closer and clinch our fist and put some grit in our eye and go to work. It was first we reversed back to some very old, bad habits and obviously the other team played really well kind of taken it too us. And that is what I am most disappointed in. Penalties, poor execution, and turning the ball over and that are what bother me the most and that is what we have got to get fixed. "

On rotation of running backs
"Brandon is really steady for us. I am really proud of him. We continue to get him the football. Doroland and Jai worked in there some. But he (Hayes) is the most trustworthy right now."

On Marquis not dressing out
"That is correct."

On TD after poor play in the first half
"That was good. Paxton scrambled around and made a play to Alan Cross on the sidelines. Those are the hardest scenarios to be in when there is not much time left and you are on the seven-yard line. Those are times when you really need somebody to make a play because of their calls and you are limited on being able to run the ball and you are limiting your ability to get out the field goal unit. You don't want to take a sack. He stepped up and made the play. We have a sprint out call into a blitz, we picked it up and he just kind of put his brakes on and picked it up and got it in the end zone which is what you need. You need a guy to make a play into the end zone in a situation like that."

On two scores in the final eight minutes
"I thought that we did a decent job mixing it up. We had some success running the ball. The scheme can give you problems. There are so many people in there they flood you with - people with just sheer numbers and then defend the pass with some different type looks and pressure. We got our feet underneath us running the football a little bit, despite the number of people in there."

On opportunities to take shots
"We threw double post to Sam early in the game for a big play. Then we threw four averts to Sam in the second half. We called a couple more and Paxton either got flushed out or we didn't do a good job in the protection so we didn't get a chance to push it all the way down there. We called some shots in the game."

On offense not moving the ball, Tom's efforts
"It was good to see Tom. I think by Tom's standards last week was not a good night for him. I think you could see that in his preparation. He was really intent on proving that he was a better player than that and I think he did that."

On defense and running game in the second half
"We really didn't. We played a little more man coverage. A little bit less four cross in corners."

On effort
"Effort is a little bit more of technique and discipline to do the right thing. It is not like we were not running the ball it was just execution."

On going forward with the rest of the season
"I'll take them any way we can get them. I think one of the biggest mistakes coaches' make is they praise after a victory and admonish after a defeat. I told our squad I am not in the praising mood after that. I am happy that they won for them but in no way am I ready to jump up and down tell them what a great job they did. We have got to learn from it. We have to use it as a teaching tool and not a yelling tool. We have got to get it fixed and continue to move on. I am happy that we own. We had to learn how to battle through tough football games and find a way to get it done but not overall real pleased."

On Sam's ability to play
"You get a kid like Sam that is so intelligent and can keep his wits about him for the entire game. He is extremely competitive. You can make adjustments with him and move him around, play him in different spots. You find yourself saying let's think about players, not plays. Let's think about how to get #11 the ball and in what form or fashion do we want to give him the ball. That's what we are getting too and where we are going is finding ways to throw it to him and get it to him."

On Dorceus' play
"We had it at the time out or right before the play but we had time on the sidelines so you imagine that we talked about taking care of the football. Then he busted through the line."

  Memphis Junior Safety Anthony Watson

On the performance of the defense in today's game
"Coming into the game, we focused on trying to keep them out of the end zone. We wanted to eliminate the mistakes we made last week in order to give our team a chance to win the game."

On his interception in the fourth quarter
"We knew the situation we were in being in a close game, and the coaches told us to embrace the moment. On that play, if it wasn't for the defensive line getting the great rush on the quarterback, the interception wouldn't have been possible for me. So a big thanks to them. Making plays like that as a team will help us succeed."

On getting the tough victory
"This will help us a lot, especially from a confidence standpoint. We need to fix the mistakes we made tonight when we are getting ready for South Florida. But, UT Martin is a tough team, so we can capitalize on getting this win moving forward."

  Memphis Senior Running Back Brandon Hayes

On getting 27 carries in tonight's game
"You never really know. Some games I might get 10 carries, some games I might get 16 carries. You never what the game is going to be like. Coaches tell me to be ready and make sure I was 100 percent. I was able to carry the workload and I felt good."

On getting the win in today's game
"At this point, we needed that win. It might have been a sloppy win, but it feels good to see different faces in the locker room. We are upbeat and excited to go out there tomorrow and start preparing for South Florida to be honest."

  Memphis Junior Cornerback Bobby McCain

On the team's performance
"We didn't play our best ball. We played well enough to win, but not well enough for where we want to be. We are thankful for the offense coming through and making plays. Defensively, we played well enough to win, but we didn't play our best."

On red zone defense
"We did excellent today in the red zone. That got down there a few times, and we were able to stop them, which is what we are supposed to do. The front seven did their job and that helped us in the back end. We had great play by the entire defense in the red zone."

  Freshman Wide Receiver Sam Craft

On development with Lynch
"Paxton told me he was going to give me a chance to own the ball. He ended up finding me tonight a couple times. It is just getting better every day."

On the way game was won
"We needed a win just to give us some confidence. We have been working so hard coming so close like coach said. The way we won, you will be happy with the win but you also want to win in the correct way. I am just proud to be a part of this team to get this win."

On pride with receiving and double digit drops
"It was very important. The drops hurt us last week but we went into the week with just focusing on catching the ball. It was really all about focus, we had to prove that we still have a good receiving core and that was what our focus was on tonight.

On amount of playing time through season
"I was not expecting it but it was my goal to reach the part as much as I am now, from listening to Coach Fuente and telling me to just `do' eventually I was getting involved with the offense more and more."

On rushing TD
"If you are that close to the goal line my motto is `you have to get into the end zone no matter what is in front of you.' I just made a huge effort to get it in there."

  UT Martin Head Coach Jason Simpson

On Productivity of running game early in the game...
"DJ (McNeil) hurt his knee, not sure what it was exactly. He finished with 16 carries for 34 yardS. I'm very proud of Abou (Toure), he had 17 carries for 114; we've been waiting for his break out game all year, so that was good to see.

We knew that throwing the ball was very going to be difficult against this defense. Our plan was to slow the game down, run the ball and keep us in third and mediums and be able to convert those. We were 4-of-14 on third down, so too many times we got stuck in third and long."

On this week in practice, preparing for next week...
"We need to get our passing game going a little bit, but it's also about protection. It's not just about the quarterback. EKU only gives up about 90 yards a game rushing so we've got to find a way to move the football next week."



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