Sept. 9, 2008
Opening statement: "We're excited to be home. We are starting our conference schedule a little bit early but we're going to be in the nice confines of the Joan as we go against a very good Memphis team. We're just excited to play right here at home."
On Memphis' passing game: "The key for us this week as how our corners play and how we tackle in space. This will be the first game that we have a chance to tackle in space. They do a great job of using the whole field, sideline to sideline and obviously they are going to take a bunch of vertical shots down the field, so that will be our challenge defensively. They do a good job of getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands so that you cannot pressure him. He does not take a bunch of hits or allow a lot of sacks because the ball does come out quick. Fortunately for us we have a little bit of depth on defense now and part of that offense is to try to tire you out by throwing from sideline to sideline, we're going to have some bodies to roll in the game, so it will be a little different for us than it was last year. This will be the best receiving corps we will face all year, bar none."
On redshirt freshman DB DeQuan Bembry's play against Wisconsin: "He did ok. I was, after looking at the film, more pleased with his play than I was during the game. There were a few plays I felt he could have come up against the run a little better, but he had good coverage. He made some good, solid tackles early in the game. I was pleased with DeQuan. He did what he had to do. DeQuan has a lot of confidence in his ability."
On the play of freshman punter Kase Whitehead: "Even in a league like ours where they throw the ball a lot, field position is still vital. Kase has been our special teams player of the week the last two weeks, he has been doing an incredible job for a young guy."
On QB Mark Cann's performance at Wisconsin:
"I think Mark played ok. He had a couple of busts, a few balls sailed high on him, but beyond that, I was pleased with Mark. He took some big time shots for the first time and he handled it pretty good. I think every week will be a learning experience for him. I see him getting better each week, just like the other quarterbacks that we have had around here. I think Mark is going to be real, real good. He already possesses a very strong arm, he has the height and he is a very intelligent kid. Obviously, he is going to have some adversity throughout the year, but he's the kind of kid that has the maturity to let it bounce right off."
On the team's attitude heading into the Memphis game: "I think our guys are looking forward to this game. I truly sense that. Yesterday, I walked by the film rooms to see who was in there and they were all full. We just have to be ready to go out and play and protect the football. It's a one-game season and that's on Saturday night at 7 pm."
On last year's game against Memphis: "It was a tough one to swallow. Probably similar to the one (Memphis coach) Tommy (West) had last week. Their kids played well and made one more play than we did."
On Memphis' defense: "I think they are very athletic on defense, they do some good things and are very sound in what they are doing. Big plays and quarterback runs have hurt them because they are playing a bunch of difference concepts coverage-wise."
On the atmosphere in night games at Joan C. Edwards Stadium: "I sense a little different atmosphere here at night, it seems a little more rambunctious. Let me say this while I have the chance, we need the crowd to be as loud as they can possibly be because Memphis changes plays at the line of scrimmage and the quarterback has to communicate that to ten other guys. The crowd will be a factor for us."