Our football team is preparing for Memphis. We’ve put that last game behind us. It’s important that our guys have a short memory and we move on and prepare for a Memphis team that has a new coach and has them playing extremely hard. You watch those guys play they don’t look like a (1-7) team. Their defensive front a year ago was really good. A lot of them are in the NFL now, but they’ve replaced them with other good players. We have to worry about us this week and worry about getting better. We’re not concerned about the weather. We are going to go out and practice like we normally do and get ready to go play.
On Memphis’s rushing attack:
They play extremely hard from a year ago to now. Regardless of their record they show up and play. They been in just about every game they’ve played in up until the end of some games. They’re doing some really good things. I mentioned that defensive front that will make some plays. When you watch them you can see they’ve made great improvements from a year ago. We have to make sure we’re prepared.
On the focus this week being on getting chemistry back or on Memphis:
Both. It’s important that we go out there and take care of ourselves. We have to make the plays that we’ve been making all year. Offensively all year long we’ve made plays and last week we didn’t do that. We have to make sure we get back into doing that this week.
On last week’s loss being focus or execution:
Our kids were ready to play that game. We got out there that first series and just didn’t make the plays that we’ve made all year. There were throws that were made and the guy just didn’t catch the ball. There were guys that were open and throws weren’t made. There were some blocks we’ve made all year that weren’t made. We just didn’t execute. We have to get back to doing that and we will.
On 19 missed assignments on offense:
When you don’t make the plays you’re supposed to make then those plays get magnified. We just didn’t make enough plays. Early on in the game we had a couple opportunities to get things going like we normally do and didn’t do it. It’s unfortunate and we just have to come back. We are very capable of making those corrections and making sure that doesn’t happen again. It sure can’t this week because we have to play extremely well.
On the magnitude of the Memphis game:
They’re all huge. To get where we want to go we have to win games like that (last week’s UCF game). It’s what Marshall University has to do to get this program to where our fan base wants it, where I want it and where everybody wants it. We all want to win championships. That’s what it’s all about. You have to win those games. We didn’t do that. With that being said, this team still has a lot to play for. This team has four games left and it can accomplish more than any (Marshall) team in this conference has ever done. You have the opportunity to go win six conference games. You have the opportunity to go participate in a bowl game. Who knows what’s going to happen? Our kids have to understand there is a whole lot to play for. We have one-fourth of our season. We have to focus on Memphis. Take them one at a time and at the end of the year look up and see where we are. Are we disappointed? Yes. As a head coach, I’m disappointed, our kids are disappointed and I’d be disappointed if our fanbase wasn’t disappointed. I don’t want to be anywhere that the fans don’t care. There are places where that happens. I don’t want to be the head coach at those places. I want to be head coach at places where the fans are upset because we don’t win. I have no issue with that. Our goal right now is to work extremely hard to get prepared for Memphis and take them one at a time. We’ll go play Memphis then worry about the next one.
On the players being disappointed for the fans after big loss to UCF:
There’s no question. That’s why this job is a special job. That’s why it’s a great job and that’s why we’re going to get back to winning championships because of what this football program means to its fan base because of what it’s gone through with the crash. It’s important to our kids and we try to do a good job as staff to make sure that our kids understand what they do mean to the community and to the fanbase and how important it is for us to go win football games for them. They believe that.
On the Memphis defense being able to get in the backfield:
They’re very similar offensively and defensively and what I mean by that is, offensively, they create a lot of issues because of what they do. They run triple option, they run mid-option and a lot of different things to create problems for our defense. They’re a three-down look and they’re bringing people from all over the place. Southern Miss had done a lot of that a year ago and going into the game with Southern Miss we thought we’d get that, but we ended up not. What they do at Memphis is do a great job at creating chaos with what they do. They bring pressure off the edges and from everywhere. They’re constantly creating pressure for you which create some negative plays. They’ve given up some plays because of that, but they create negative plays because of what they do.
On rectifying Marshall’s challenges covering kickoffs:
Personnel is one deal. We have to get good people on there. We’ve made a couple changes personnel-wise. It’s like anything else guys have to get in position to make a play and you have to make it. Unfortunately that didn’t happen last week and we have to make sure that we get guys in there to make those plays. That’s what happens to you when guys get banged up and hurt. Your special teams will suffer a little bit because of it. We have to get the right people in the positions and coach the heck out of them.
On Deon Meadows performance filling in for Devin Arrington:
When somebody gets hurt, someone else has to step in and that individual will get a chance. Deon got in there and got the job done. That was great to see. He went in there and did some great things and he didn’t have any M.A.’s (missed assignments) which is important. He did step up and we’re going to have to ask some other guys to do the same thing.