Oct. 7, 2013
"Obviously, it was a hard-fought battle last week. It didn't turn out the way we wanted to, but just to reiterate my pride in our kids - the way they conducted themselves on the field, the way they continued to battle back against a very good football team. That was a tough football game against a really good program. We came up a little bit short but I was awfully proud of the way our kids continued to fight and battle and play for each other. We have regrouped and we're ready to go begin our preparations for an undefeated Houston team this Saturday. They pose numerous threats. They're very talented, very well-coached and very explosive offensively. They have skill kids all across the board and a defense that is much improved from a year ago. We'll have to do a great job on both sides of the ball and on special teams in order to give ourselves a chance."
On how to stop Houston wide receiver Deontay Greenberry
"It's a group effort. We'll have to do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback either through bringing people from the secondary or from the linebacker core or just our front three. Obviously, they like to throw the ball, and he's a really good player. It will be a great challenge."
On turning the loss to UCF into motivation for the team
"That's what we're going to do. If anything, you should gain a little bit of confidence that you can play with a really good football team and gave yourself a chance to win. I think our kids can take some solace in that and also understand that it's about preparation. It always come back to practice and preparing yourself in the best manner in order to perform on Saturday. If you don't do it on Tuesday, if you don't do it on Wednesday, and you don't do it on Thursday, then there's no real reason for us to just expect you to do it on Saturday. That consistency level is important to us, and what we're striving for."
On the play of Houston freshman quarterback John O'Korn
"He's a pretty good player. I think he's got a really bright future ahead of him. They've done a good job of moving him along in a short amount of time. He's probably more athletic than other people give him credit for. They've got a good scheme and players around him. I think his development's accelerated. It's pretty impressive to watch."
On what has made the team's defense stand out this season
"I don't know if you can put your finger on just one thing. The kids have confidence in the scheme, they have confidence in what they're doing and where they're supposed to be. I think the coaches have done a great job of instilling that in them. I think they feel like they should play well. They've done a great job when bad things happen of just playing the next play, and not pointing fingers. We've got some guys that have played really well - the linebacker core, the defensive front. We have some guys in the secondary that didn't play as much last year that have really stepped up and developed."
Memphis' Oct. 19th game against SMU will kickoff at 11 a.m. at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game is the ESPN Regional American Game of the Week. Most households who have Comcast Cable in the Memphis area will be able to see the game on Comcast's local origination station - Comcast channel 30. The game will also be available online at WatchESPN.com.