LB Brian Lester – (On the game) Defensively, we were OK tonight, but what was disappointing to us was not being able to get off the field on some key third downs. Memphis hit us in the middle a couple of times that hurt. I thought our defensive line did a good job of containing a great running back most of the night. He hurt us some, but you expect that with a great one like him. Their offensive line was good, but we held our own. Other than the third downs, we did about what we hoped to do. We figured they would score some points – they are veterans and they have a good scheme, but we didn't give our offense good field position a lot of times by stopping those third downs and that was a factor in the outcome.
DE Corey Mills – (On his first college experience) Memphis did a real good job with their misdirection and zone stuff. This was a tough loss as a team and it has nothing to do with me being from Memphis. I don't like losing, period. I had fun right up until the end. It's a lot different from high school – everybody is as big and strong as I am. I didn't have much problem with the speed of the game, but this game proves to me – because of how big everyone is – how important technique is. I was surprised with the number of snaps I got, but I was happy with it. It was a good learning experience, but a hard way to learn.
TB Vashon Pearson – (On how the offense can improve) We have to take some pressure off Micheal (Spurlock) by getting the running game going better. Running the football is the best way to let him settle into the game and relax. Micheal was pressing some and he made a few mistakes because this was his first start. He'll learn from it and will be better next week than he was this week. He seemed comfortable, but things didn't go his way tonight and I think that affected him late in the game. He'll get better.
CB Trumaine McBride – (On his play) I had a pass interference call and a holding call tonight. It's not my place to question those. I just have to stay aggressive and physical. You have to keep your head up and keep going. It's a tough position to play, but I like the challenge. I was nervous at first, but once I got out there my adrenaline started flowing and I was ready. I feel I played OK, but I know I can get better. (On his interception) I jumped the route early and saw the ball thrown. I didn't bite on the outside fake. It was easy to go track it down. I liked getting an interception in my first start. It made me feel like I belong out there.
SS Kelvin Robinson – (On the defense) I think we played well as a defense, but the whole team has to get better, including the defense. The no-huddle caused us some problems with some delayed calls, but that's one of the benefits of running it. We were having to go with a lot of base calls, which took some of our aggressive calls away from us sometimes, but I thought we adjusted well and held up well in base. (On the mood of the locker room) We are mad we lost because we didn't do our jobs, as a whole. But we have to move on and get over it in a hurry. Alabama is waiting on us in Tuscaloosa.
WR Bill Flowers – (On Spurlock and the team) We will improve drastically from the first game to the second and there is no doubt in anyone's mind on this team who our quarterback is and should be. There are very few players who can come out in their first start and perform miracles against a pretty good team. It was his first game. Now he's got his feet wet and will be ready to roll. I believe that with all my heart. He's a fighter and he will do really well. I thought he did very well running the system, he just needs to relax and execute. It will come.
PK Jonathan Nichols – (On the aftermath of the loss) We have ten games to go and can't afford to hang our heads. If we had to lose one, it's good we lost a non-conference game. That's the only way we can look at it. We don't have time to dwell on this one. We'll be back at it Monday and our focus better be on Alabama and nothing else. We've got work to do. Hopefully we will improve quite a bit between the first and second games. That is normally the case and what we will be aiming to do.
C Chris Spencer – (On what's next) Get better. That's all we can do. We will watch film and see our mistakes, individually and as a unit. The film won't lie. It's all there in living color and we'll have to go about the business of correcting what we did wrong. I think by next week we'll be clicking and rolling. (On Memphis' defense) We practiced everything they gave us – 3-3, 4-2. They didn't come off the ball very hard, it was more of a contain mindset, working the field laterally and trying to keep Micheal contained.
DE Cory Robinson – (On the defense) We did a pretty good job most of the night against what they were doing, but they hit us with some key plays that hurt. I felt like we should have held them to two scores, but I give them credit for executing at crucial times. They hurt us with a big screen play that led to their first score. That was just a good call against the defense we were in. They guessed right. (On the mood of the team) It's like ‘OK, we made a mistake, now put it behind you and let's go.' We've got to do whatever it takes – that's the attitude in there right now.
WR Kerry Johnson – (On the team) I don't know what it is, but we have struggled the last couple of years with non-conference games. This was a tough game to swallow. We did all the right things in getting ready, but we didn't perform the way we are capable. We wanted this game badly and played as hard as we could, but things just didn't fall our way. This was our first game together and we knew we would have some rocky moments, but we never gave one thought to losing. (On Spurlock) Tough outing, but everyone on this team believes he can be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC. He needed the experience, although none of us needed a loss. Now he can put this behind him – just like all of us – and get on with the business of winning the SEC. We'll be ready for the Alabama game.
OG Doug Buckles – (On Spurlock) He was a little nervous, but not any more than any other first-time starter. He had a tough chore – opening up against Memphis. I think Eli (Manning) opened against UL-Monroe. A little different. I think most people would agree with that. We just need to give him a little more time and he will be fine. (On the team) This game does not hurt us in the conference. Nobody wanted to lose this game. It hurts, but since we did lose it, we have to look for the silver lining – that it wasn't a conference game. That doesn't make it any easier, but you always have to look for something to hang your hat on after every game, win or lose. We did have some positives up front. I thought Darryl Harris came in for Bobby (Harris) when he hurt his ankle and did an excellent job. (On running the ball) I wish we would have run it more. Memphis was soft up front, by design. They were containing and not coming off the ball. You can always look back and say ‘we should have done this or that' but I wish we had run it more. I wish we had given the run game more of a chance as the game wore on.
From the locker room. . .
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