Nov. 24, 2012
Final Stats |
Memphis Head Coach Justin Fuente
I'm proud of our kids today, on both sides of the ball. I'm proud of the way they prepared, and handled some of the distractions that come with playing on this week. They're not necessarily bad distractions, but they're just different than a normal week, with the Thanksgiving break and all that stuff. By and large, we played pretty well. We were smart, and didn't do things to hurt ourselves, I thought we took control and dominated the ball game for the most part. It was a big boost for the kids, I'm pleased for our seniors, I think it's a rewarding experience for them, and I couldn't be happier for them.
With the last few weeks, do you want the season to end?
No, I told the kids before the game that if I had one wish, it would be that we had 10 more, that we had 10 more games to go. But I can't give you that, I can give you four quarters, that's all we've got. I thought they went out there and played like that. This will springboard us into a lot of things, into recruiting, into the offseason, into the offseason program, which starts tomorrow. The way we finished the season maybe validates some of the hard work we've put the kids through.
On scoring six touchdowns in the first seven possessions
Yeah, we ran the ball very well, obviously. I felt like we really controlled the line of scrimmage, and were able to make some plays on some easy passes, and make hits on that kind of stuff because we were running the ball so well. We were pretty efficient in there, and converted a couple of third downs in the first half that I thought were good to keep drives going. We ran the quarterback draw down there in the red zone, I thought was a big play.
On how important this finish to the season was to the program
I think it's good to see the fruits of everybody's labor, and don't mistake me by any means, we have a long way to go. We have mountains to climb, and we have a lot of things to do in the offseason through recruiting, through spring practice, and through the summer time. I'm glad for the kids to get some reward, but we all as coaches and adults know that we're doing the right thing and doing it the right way. I think the kids thought we were, and hopefully now they know we are, so it's good to get the kids a little reward.
Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss, head football coach
I was very disappointed. We are really down, we have some issues with depth and personnel. Our run defense was so soft and protection on the quarterback was another huge factor. A lot of things up front were certainly not pleasing in the box. Arsenio Favor struggled, he made a couple of nice throws, but missed a lot of reads and could not get the ball down the field. We went with Anthony Alford in the second half, he's obviously struggling a bit seeing things, when it broke down, he ran around. They just controlled the football on us and controlled the whole tempo of the game.
Was Aresenio Favor Injured?
He had an Achilles that flared up this week and they gave him something for it. I don't think that was bothering him. He just did not see a lot of things and did not recognize a lot of things. When he did, he threw some nice balls. The running game was decent at times, but we kept getting so far behind, we had to get away from it a little bit.
The team is 0-12 on the season do you expect to be back?
I have no idea. I'm just more concerned about the overall improvement of the team. We never got better and better and a lot of it was because of the quarterback situation and the injuries at all the positions. It was up and down, up and down. By the time you look at it, this is week 12 and we are no better than we were week two. It was just something we could not get a hold of with all of the personnel issues. It was in and out, in and out. We have to take a lot of responsibility, especially me as a head coach. You want to see a team get better and better and we just never did do it.
Are you going to have a conference to talk about what happened?
We have one every week. We'll have one Monday. I'll sit down and watch the tape. It won't give me much more that what I've already seen. Every week has been disappointing, some more than others. Some of it has been surprising; some of it's not been surprising. We think we know what some of the issues are and you put your finger on it. There are other things you worry about as a coach that you could have controlled and you didn't. That's the things that concern me the most. Overall, I thought this was a decent team until we started getting all of these injuries and then it started multiplying and we took two steps forward and one step back. At the end of the day, like I said, I don't think we are much better now than we were 10 weeks ago. I thought Memphis did a really good job, they're a decent football team right now and function well and we just did not control the line of scrimmage.