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    Nov. 17, 2009

    Listen to Coach Sumlin 


    HEAD COACH Kevin Sumlin
    Opening Statement:

    "I'd like to encourage everyone to come out tonight for the opener for basketball. After talking to Coach (Tom) Penders, I know they are looking forward to this season and getting going.

    "Obviously, we're not happy with the events, everything that took place and the performance of last weekend. We had a chance early in the game to take control of it, but we did not do that. We turned the ball over twice and didn't do things that we needed to do offensively to take control of the game in the first half. We didn't do the things we needed to do defensively in the second half to win the game. We're not happy with it but that's over with, and we can't sit here and dwell on it. We've moved on.

    "All of our focus right now is on Memphis and what we need to do to win this game. We're happy to be home for our last two regular season games. When I look at Memphis, I see a big, talented athletic team. There's been a lot of controversy this year particularly with Tommy (West, former head coach) being let go. He has a tremendous amount of pride and so does that program.

    "They've had injuries at quarterback the last couple of years, but there's no question they have some talented players. Curtis Steele is one of the better running backs in this league. He's closed in on 1,000 yards with about 150 to go this year. He put over 100 yards on Tennessee. He's a good running back. The two receivers, (Carlos) Singleton and (Duke) Calhoun, present issues for everybody. They are the top-two receivers in the history of Memphis. They're going to give us some challenges defensively. They'll come in here and play. They played very well last week. Their punter is a Ray Guy Award semi-finalist, and he's an excellent kicker, too. They have some talent, and they have some weapons offensively, and they have some fast guys on defense.

    "We need to concern ourselves with us and our level of play. At this time of the year, as we talked as a team yesterday, there are a bunch of situations and experiences that our team has been through as a team or individually that they need to draw upon. We need to get better in these next two weeks and worry about the games that are in front of us; then see what happens. There's still a lot of football to play and who knows what's going to happen. We can't be concerned with speculating or worrying about what other people do. We have to worry about the games that we play and winning those games, then we'll see what happens. That's where we are, that's what our focus is and that's where we're headed."

    On his quarterback play:

    "I'd like to think I'm seven days better, more experience and I've learned from last Saturday and became better from that game. There's a lot to learn from a win but you might learn the most from when you don't win."

    On finishing the season:
    "We know we're guaranteed three games left and that's all we can really worry about. We have to concern ourselves with the next game. Things tend to have a way working out. At the end of the season it seems like everything goes crazy and a lot of situations are possible. We just have to worry about ourselves."

    On focus:
    "Maintaining focus is a big thing for us during the week. Not just for the game but during practice and film session. We're always trying to stay focused. It's a point of emphasis every day."

    On different scenarios unfolding:
    "If you get worried about who is playing who and who has to win then you get thinking about things that aren't important. It all doesn't matter if we don't go out and win Saturday."

    On playing at home:
    "It's been great playing at home this year, and I'm really looking forward to these last two games. It's always nice coming home after an away stretch and have some people cheering for you instead of people booing and heckling you - that's never fun. I do enjoy playing at home and I'm very excited about playing in front of the home crowd again."

    On UCF game:

    "It wasn't like we did everything wrong in the game. We did have positives. We have to build off that."

    On the most disappointing thing about the loss:
    "It's put us in a tough position conference wise. People will always have their opinions. We can't worry about that. All we can do is focus on the next two games.

    "It was in our hands and we have let it slip away. We put ourselves in this situation with the early conference lost to UTEP."

    SENIOR CORNERBACK Brandon Brinkley
    On improving:

    "We have to play with the same energy as we have been playing with and make the plays. We didn't do that last game."

    On UCF loss:
    "They are on scholarship too. They knew how to make plays. I guess at that time they wanted it more than we did. They made the plays they had to make. They didn't lie down."

    On UCF game:

    "We were one step away from being in the right places. We need to work on those little mistakes that got us beat."

    On Memphis game:
    "It will be fun to get back and play in front of all our fans. Every time we play there, we play with high energy and passion. That's what we need right now."

    On UCF:

    "We knew they were going to come out and play hard and have a high energy level. They were an aggressive team up front on film. They outplayed us up front, they played harder, faster and wanted it more. That's probably the best defensive line I've faced all year."

    On the loss:
    "We didn't underestimate them nor did we underestimate UTEP. Those are both good, solid teams that put their heart in the game and played hard. We respect every opponent and the next game is our next big game. We didn't take them for granted. We started off fast, but a couple of turnovers turned the game around and got the crowd into it. They started rolling with a little more emotion and more edge."

    On the critics:

    "You can't worry about what other people are going to do. We can only worry about ourselves. We need to focus on the next game."

    On Case Keenum:
    "Case is our leader and we rally behind him. Really, he doesn't have to say anything this week. We just need to come together as a team and put it on."



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