"This is a special week. We're playing Southern Miss at the Liberty Bowl. We get to play them in the afternoon, which is a little bit different than what we've done the rest of the year. But most importantly, we get the chance to celebrate 16 seniors in their last game representing the Memphis Tigers. Those 16 kids have all been at this University for different amounts of time. A couple of them are one-year guys, some are junior college guys and some have been here since their senior year in high school. All of them have played a big role in what we're trying to accomplish and what we're trying to build. We're going to do everything we can to make sure we celebrate their career and send them off the right way.
"I can assure you after watching them (Southern Miss) on film on both sides of the ball for hours at a time that they are a more than capable football team. They have talent across the board. We will have to do a great job in preparation for the entire week in order to play these guys."
On what scares him about playing Southern Miss
"They've got skill players everywhere, from wide receivers to running backs. They've played several quarterbacks. Defensively, they have a defensive end that I haven't seen anybody block yet. They can run and have size."
On keeping the team from looking at Southern Miss' 0-11 record
"We're not in a position to judge anyone in our program right now. We have to make sure that we focus on ourselves and our preparation. I hope that our kids understand or enjoy the feeling of a job well done, which is what they've accomplished the last two weeks. I hope they can continue to prepare like that and practice like that. We have to make it pretty clear that this team has the ability to highlight your deficiencies very easily, and we have to make sure that we do a great job in preparation."
On how dangerous Southern Miss can be
"When you take a team that's got talent like that - receivers, running backs and defensive guys - that can change the football game, they're very dangerous. I think our kids know that we'll have to play well to have a chance."
On the play of Brandon Hayes
"Brandon has been, I think offensively, a catalyst for some of our success. I think it's due to his ability to run the ball and be a steady force for us. He has really worked hard. He comes to work every day. He's really the prototypical kid that you want in your program. I'm awfully proud of him and happy for him to have this success. He's been absolutely huge for us down the stretch."
On the play of the defense
"They've done a great job - from the defensive staff to the kids buying into the plan and executing the plan. When we put the team first, when we execute and when we play hard, we have a chance to be pretty darn good on defense. You've seen that the last two weeks."