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Postgame Quotes from Southern Miss Game Versus Memphis

Nov. 10, 2007

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Southern Miss Head Coach Jeff Bower

On the Game
"Give Memphis credit, they made plays. We left a lot of plays on both sides of the football. We couldn't stop them on third down. We couldn't stay on the field on offense at the end, and then we give up the big play defensively. I don't fault our effort. I thought our kids were ready to play."

On the Height of the Memphis Receivers
"They made some plays on us. They attacked the ball." On Missed Opportunities "We're just not real consistent. I think you go back in this game and any one play could have made a difference."

On What He Told the Team Following the Loss
"There is not much to say. You better forget about it. If you want to go to a bowl and have a winning season, you have to win these next two games."

On His Team's Play
"This game from a defensive standpoint, I thought we made some good plays. We gave up some big plays too, and we couldn't get them off the field on third down. And offensively, we've got to make some more plays in the passing game."

On if There is More Pressure at 5-5
"I'm going to coach each game as hard as I can. I'm a believer in that you coach each game the same way. You get ready to play the best you can no matter who you are playing. You play every game the same, and I'm going to approach it that way."

Memphis Head Coach Tommy West

"Well, I can't say enough, I really can't. It's a great example of staying together as a team; and that is what I have anticipated all year out of this team...I believe that this was the best game. We played together tonight; I thought the best we've had. As far as offense and defense, kicking game - still have some things in the kicking game to get going. Well, they did what I told them [what] they couldn't do. I told them that they had to win the turnovers and they had to win the kicking game and they did it without doing either."

On his feelings about winning the game
"Really we made some plays, but that was real gutsy; we stuck together, embarrassed...We thought we should have won a week ago. We didn't go into that game to lose, we thought we had a chance to win the game going in and was really embarrassed coming out of it. That's what happens. They picked it up; we turned up the heat at little. These kids came together, and that is as good as it gets right there, when you get it handed to you and then you are able to get off the floor. Maybe now we are deserving of some recognition."

On Memphis quarterback Martin Hankins return to Hattiesburg, his hometown
"He played great. [Southern Miss] brought a lot of heat on him, and our running game was not at what it needed to be. That one play he made a bad decision - he threw it to the wrong side - and [number] 6 was a good player. He might be the best DB in the league. "We were about to move the ball pretty well, we started terrible in the second half, so we had to start over; we kicked some field goals and started over. My hats off to the defense, our defense kept us in the ball game."

Southern Miss Players

Defensive Back Brandon Sumrall

On the game
"We just got too comfortable, we jumped up on them and just lost our poise. We stopped the run well, but they made plays in the passing game. Memphis is a good team with gifted athletes. They are going to make plays, and we are going to make plays. The trick is for us to make more plays than they do, and we didn't do that tonight.

"On third down, we have to get their offense off the field. And we just couldn't do that tonight. When you're in a tight conference game against Memphis and you don't do that you aren't going to win. I wouldn't ever blame the coaches for the play calling; we're the ones out on the field, so we have to make plays."

On the height of Memphis' receivers
"(Singleton's height) makes a big difference. He loosens you up as a defender, especially on run defense. He's always a threat and you want to double team him all the time but then the run defense would suffer."

On the remainder of the season
"Any loss hurts; this one hurts bad. But we can't let it get us down, we have two games left; I'm a senior, so I only have two games left, and I want to go out a winner. So I'll do whatever I have to do to get some wins."

Defensive  Back Chico Hunter

On the last drive
"We had good preparation, we just needed to execute. We had to get them off the field on third down on that last drive and we just didn't do it. It's disappointing, we controlled the tempo, the game was moving at our speed; we just didn't make the big plays."

On his missed interception on the last drive
"I misjudged the throw, and came up too fast and it went right through my hands. It was a play that could have gotten their offense off the field and given us the ball with good field position. We had a couple of those plays in the game and it really cost us."

Running Back Damion Fletcher

On the game
"I really can't explain this one. They came out and made those big plays, and the team that makes the most plays is going to win every time."

"They might have changed up some things up for us in their game plan. I know they expected us to run so they were stacking guys in the box and rolling safeties down, but we still have to make plays."

On the end of the game
"We had a chance to put the game away without ever putting the defense back on the field. We just didn't execute and went four and out. We had some busted plays and we left some plays out there, basically just shot ourselves in the foot."

On the season to this point
"It's a big disappointment for me, everyone expected us to come in and win this conference. They say that the team that is picked to win it in the preseason never does, and that's exactly what has happened this year. But we can't blame anyone but ourselves. We have two games left and we'll do whatever we have to do to win these last two."

On his second 1,000 yard season
"That's not even on my radar right now. I really don't even want to talk about any individual stats or anything of that nature. It's all about preparing for these last two games and getting two wins."

Memphis Player

Defensive Back LaKeitharun Ford

On the win
"It was a good example of not giving up and playing hard the whole fourth quarter like coach talked about. For the most part everybody did well."

On defense play
"After the performance last week, we wanted to come back and show that we had a tough defense. We had to stay poised doing the game and we did a good job of doing that."

On how big the win was
"Well, my best friend plays for Southern Miss and he had the bragging rights last year and I got them this year. I am friends with a couple of guys on Southern Miss team and Jeremy Young is one of them. It is good to get a win here. It is really good. It's good that we stayed composed and defensively bounced back from last week."

On pride of the team
"This definitely is a pride booster for our team. To bounce back from a lost like we had last week and come in here a get a win. It is going to do some great things for us. On the interception I just saw the ball hanging in the air and I just jumped and attacked the ball.

Wide Receiver Carlos Singleton

On the touchdown pass in the fourth quarter
"Martin (Hankins) read the safety well and he saw him come down and threw the ball to me and I just made a play."

On the meaning of this victory
"This was a big game for Martin. He had about 40 people here from his family and he pulled off a big win. The defense gave us a big boost and this is a big win for us. We knew we had to pull it off to go to a bowl game, and we came out and got a good win."

On the team's mindset change
"We just have to have some poise these last two games at home and just pull it out. On the changes the team made We just kept saying that we had to read the defense better."

Quarterback Martin Hankins

On the magnitude of the victory
"It doesn't get any better than this. This is something that I dreamed about as a kid. I could remember coming to games with my parents and playing touch football on this field. Our guys kept their composure all night. We were able to fight back. We have a great offense and our receivers made plays and the line blocked.

On the comeback victory
"It is a big win, when you win one like that. We were down 11 points in the fourth quarter and were able to score on two drives. It is just sweet."

On the team's effort
"This team has believed all along and Southern Miss being a powerhouse in our conference and us being able to come in here and get a win like this it is something special. I had anywhere from 40-50 family and friends at the game."

On Coming to Southern Miss games as a kid
"Yeah, all the time. My parents and I would sit right up there below "The Rock" sign.

On Not Going to Southern Miss
"Once I went to Southeastern Louisiana, I left it as what it was. I really don't fit their system and Jeremy Young does a great job here. I am happy where I am at. I love this team, I love these players and I love these coaches. I am happy that we have been able to fight back the way we have this year."

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