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Posted Oct. 4, 2012

Travelers, below is the full text of University of Memphis' football coach Justin Fuente press conference in reference to the October 6, 2012 game with Rice University.

Justin Fuente Press Conference Transcript on

October 1, 2012

Opening Statement

“We have focused on a bunch of different things on offense. Obviously, we’ve focused on running the football, everything from scheme to personnel to fundamentals. On defense, we focused on our perimeter defense, playing in space and getting off blocks. We had a good week and we’re looking forward to welcoming Rice. I’ve known Coach (David) Bailiff for some time. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, the type of person he is, the type of coach he is and the job he has done at Rice. I know they’re proud to have him. They’re a very well-coached football team with some talented kids.”


On the team’s running game

“We went through and examined every single bit of it. We’re going to try and get as much out of what we got as humanly possible. I would like to say we left no stone unturned.”


On Rice’s play

“Offensively, they’ve got a dynamic quarterback who did not play last week. They can hurt you in every phase of the game. They’ve earned the reputation the last several years as being pretty salty on offense. They’ve got some skill guys. They may beat the standards that they’ve set in previous years. They’re very sound in all their schemes. They do a great job in maximizing their kids.”


On the defense’s play

“I think the biggest thing we can do to help the defense is play better on offense. Running the football and controlling the ball can help get the defense off the field. I think there have been times when we have not played well in space. Getting off perimeter blocks was a big emphasis this week. Getting off the field on third downs is the other thing we’ve got to continue to emphasize. One side feeds the other side.”


On the team starting conference play

“I think there’s a renewed sense of ‘let’s get out there and go.’ It’s pretty straightforward. There are eight games against conference foes. In the first four games, we’ve given ourselves an opportunity to win every single one of them. At halftime, we’ve had an opportunity to win but have not been able to finish. If you’re a player and you realize you’ve been this close in the first four games to taking steps in the right direction, now you have eight opportunities against guys that are in your league and you’re familiar with. You have an eight-game stretch to continue to take steps forward. I think that would be a cause for excitement, optimism and for continuing your hard work and dedication to the crafts. I’ve seen our guys come out and really work hard in trying to do the things we’ve been asking them to do.”


On the play from the rest of Conference USA at this point in the season

“I’m not speaking for everybody in the conference, but I think the conference probably is not as happy where it’s been in out of conference play as where it was last year. Last year was a very strong conference in non-conference competition. That’s about the only thing I’ve noticed.”


On the play of the special teams

“Bobby(McCain) responded to adversity. That’s an example of what we’re having to go through. Is he finished responding to that adversity? No. He could have gone one of two ways. He decided to go get better and not hang his head, and to go help us. I don’t want our kids to be surprised by success. When we do well, I don’t want it to be surprising. I want it to be because we’ve done the work and we’re prepared to do things the right way. I expect us to continue to play well. Have they exceeded my expectations when it comes to just scoring points? Yeah. I couldn’t tell you with a straight face that we would score that much on special teams.”






        Sports Stream Chief DD