Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis head coach Justin Fuente feels the Cincinnati Bearcats will be a tough test on Thursday night.

The Cincinnati Bearcats get ready for a short week after a hard fought defense of the Victory Bell over Miami Ohio on Saturday. The Memphis Tigers are up next as the Bearcats continue American Athletic Conference play against a Tigers team that beat them 41-14. Tigers head coach Justin Fuente knows Thursday night will be no cakewalk and said as much on Monday.

Coming off a hard fought 44-41 win over Bowling Green has the Memphis Tigers holding a 3-0 record so far this season with a ten game winning streak going back to last season. Tigers head coach Justin Fuente knows a quick turnaround against Cincinnati will be a test for his team.

“We’ve got to put that behind us and get ready for a very explosive, talented Cincinnati team on a short week,” said Fuente.  “Looking forward to getting to work and trying to prepare for Cincinnati.”

Not knowing if his team is going to face veteran quarterback Gunner Kiel or his backup Hayden Moore, Fuente knows it will be a test either way.

“He (Moore) came in and won the game for them,” he explained.  “He was probably a little bit nervous there at the first, but still found his composure and kept battling through and I think the kids, just watching the film, my judgement is the kids continued to battle for him and they found a way to win the ball game.”

Fuente knows playing in front of a national television audience is good not just for his program but others in and around the program. 

“I think it’s a great opportunity for everybody,” he said.  “Not just our program, but the city, this community, this university and obviously our football program as well to put on display who we are and what we’re about.  

“Hopefully we’ll go out there and play the game the right way.  Play hard, smart and tough which is kind of what we try and hang our hats on here and try preach to our kids and show people how we try and play the game.  

“Hopefully we’ll find a way to win it, but if we don’t I hope people be able to watch it and see that our kids play the game hard, play the game for each other and enjoy playing with some great emotion.”

What has Fuente seen out of the Bearcats?

“They’ve got fantastic players and a great scheme on both sides of the ball and on special teams,” he said.  “There a very well coached team, very disciplined, obviously they've got powerful weapons on offense.  

“They’ve got a couple of running back that are really special.  They’ve got a running back (Mike Boone) we did not play against last year.  They didn’t put him in until after our game.  He was a true freshman and he’s a sophomore now that’s electric.  I mean he’s very, very explosive.  “They’ve got five senior receivers that caught balls and a quarterback that can distribute it.  They're awfully explosive and dangerous offensively.  On defense there a big physical unit.  Big strong, tough on the defensive line.  They fly to the ball.  They’ve played much better defense since our game last year.  Our game last year they didn’t play as well as they usually have and since then they’ve played much better. Tremendous challenge for us as they’re an awfully good team.”

MEMPHIS TIGERS Depth Chart - 2015
TIGERS OFFENSE
STARTER 2ND 3RD 4TH
WR Tevin Jones Anthony Miller
TE Alan Cross Daniel Montiel
LT Taylor Fallin Christopher Roberson
LG Tyler Uselton Michael Stannard
C Gabe Kuhn Drew Kyser
RG Micah Simmons Zach Colins
RT Ryan Mack Trevon Tate
WR Phil Mayhue Roderick Proctor
QB Paxton Lynch Clay Holgorsen
WR Mose Frazier Jae'Lon Oglesby
RB Sam Craft Jarvis Cooper
TIGERS DEFENSE
STARTER 2ND 3RD 4TH
DE Latarius Brady Christian Johnson
NT Donald Pennington Jared Gentry
DE Ernest Suttles Ricky Hunter
DAWG Jackson Dillon DeMarco Montgomery
WLB Noah Robinson Genard Avery
MLB Leonard Pegues Shareef White
SLB Wynton McManis Phillip Sumpter
CB Dontrell Nelson Jamil Colins
SS DaShaughn Terry Chris Morley
FS Reggis Ball Dion Witty
CB Chauncey Lanier Arthur Maulet
TIGERS SPECIAL TEAMS
STARTER 2ND 3RD 4TH
K Jake Elliott Spencer Smith
P Spencer Smith Nick Jacobs
H Evan Michael
PR Roderick Proctor Anthony Miller
KR Sam Craft Jae'Lon Oglesby
LS Trevor Morgan Tim Belles

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