Week One: What they're saying

The University of Memphis opens its football season tomorrow against the No. 20-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Junior defensive lineman Dontari Poe says the Bulldogs "aren't a tricky team" and that the Tigers know what tomorrow's game holds.

Junior defensive lineman Dontari Poe

On fall camp ending: "It's great to finally know you'll be hitting somebody besides your own teammates. It's a good feeling. We went through a hard camp. It was great for our team. We grew. But now it's time for us to get in the business of football, playing somebody else, so it's exciting."

On playing Mississippi State again this year: "We played them last year, so we know how it‘s gonna be. They‘re not really a tricky team. They just kind of line up and run the ball at you. You just have to man up and be prepared for it."

Senior defensive lineman Frank Trotter

On the game Thursday: "We're very ready for the game. We've come a long way since the beginning of camp and since the spring. We've made a lot of changes, a lot of improvements. We're very excited about the game. We're just waiting on Thursday to get here."

On the vibes around the team: "It‘s just a different overall vibe from the team. Everybody‘s just communicating better. Everybody‘s just like a big family out there. It‘s just so different than last year. It‘s our second year with the coaches. Everybody from last year is familiar with everything, we know what we want to do and we know what our goals are. It‘s a better vibe."

On Bulldogs quarterback Chris Relf: "He's a dual quarterback. He can run, he can throw, so at any time you have to watch him. If we give up any lanes, he might take off at any time. We just always have to keep a spy on him to keep him in the pocket, keep his head moving."

Wide receiver/running back Billy Foster

On dictating the pace of the game: "We gotta come out and throw the first blow. We gotta let them know that we're here. Last year, they threw the first blow and we were like, ‘Yeah, yeah,' and then they threw another one, and once it got out of hand, it got out of hand. This year, we're going to throw the first blow and let them know that we're here."

On running the ball: "We‘re gonna let them know that we‘re not scared to run the ball. You‘ve got Jerrell Rhodes running, powerful, cutting good. And I‘m right behind him, flashing. We‘re going to let them know we‘re going to run the ball. But we‘re going to also throw it."

Senior wide receiver Tannar Rehrer

On the versatility of the receivers: "I think we use our talents much better this year. I just feel like Coach Porter found out who he likes in certain situations from last year to this year. Billy Foster, Marcus Rucker, Reggie Travis — everybody's kind of stepped up this year and they're not young anymore. We're just getting used in different ways."

On opening against Mississippi State: "We like the challenge. Everybody's got that good feeling. Everyone coming into the new season, they're always excited. And so I like them coming to our stadium, coming off a big season for them. It's a great opener for us to show people what we're all about."


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