MEMPHIS (GoTigersGo.com) - Memphis football coach Larry Porter had his weekly press conference and has switched his starting quarterback. El Dorado alum Taylor Reed will start Saturday vs. Arkansas State. The complete transcript is below.
Thanks for coming out on a holiday. Obviously, the results that we've been getting here are getting old and it's time to get beyond them. It's certainly time to move on, especially with this week's opponent, Arkansas State.
Many of you know the nature of this game (Memphis vs ASU); it's always been a competitive game. They have a fine football team, led by their quarterback. He's done an outstanding job leading their offense. They also have an experienced and explosive group of wide receivers. Their running backs are very productive and are guys that can make plays; they're shifty. Their offensive line is led by really, their only returning starter, No. 73. He's a young man I think who serves as the strength of their offense. Defensively, they're an experienced unit.
The defensive front seems to be the strength of their defense. They're very active. They're led by No. 92 Dorvus Woods, and he's accompanied by Brandon Joiner. I think those two guys truly give them an opportunity to serve as anchors in that defensive front. They have several linebackers that I think, collectively, are quite a bunch. Then the secondary are all experienced guys, basically all seniors. Their safeties have done a pretty good job for them as well; they're very active, wide-ranging and have good ball skills. The corners are good cover guys, and they've done a good job for them, especially in this last game that they played in their new scheme and system. I think, all in all, on both sides of the ball, they're an experienced unit.
You don't have to say much when you talk about Memphis and Arkansas St. The players get fired up on their own, and I don't anticipate it being any different this year. In terms of their kicking game, they use two punters and two kickers, and their system has been very effective for those guys. I know they were productive this past game, and I don't anticipate them doing anything different.
Their returner No. 9 Dwayne Frampton, he's a guy who was productive for them last year and in this last game, both as a returner as well as a receiver. He's a guy we're definitely going to have to make sure we keep in our vision, stay in our lanes and don't give him anything. But, all in all, we're looking forward to going to Jonesboro. Based on the sentiment of the team this morning, they're fired up, they're focused and they're ready to go for this game.
Q: What's your assessment after having a chance to look at this last game?
Offensively, I think we have a chance to be pretty good. I'm very proud of our offensive line, and I think our backs were pretty productive. We had a young quarterback who came in and played with tremendous poise and seems to have a great future ahead of him. Our wide receivers have to play better. I think they will. Collectively, I think we have more than enough to be productive at that position.
Defensively, I was disappointed as I went back and watched the film. We gave up too many big plays. Three or four of them were based off of missed tackles, which we definitely have to clean up. When we're in a position to tackle the ball carrier, we just have to bring him to the ground. A couple other ones, we just didn't fit well and it cost us.
As far as our kicking game, I've said all along I think Paulo (Henriques) has an opportunity to be special if he can just become consistent. His first one was a 50-yarder, and based on what I've seen throughout camp and the situations we've put him in, we're going to expect him to make those. Tom Hornsey has a strong leg, but he was way too inconsistent so it was disappointing in terms of his performance.
Our return game, once we get it going, we've got some guys back there that are tough and they have the potential to make plays. It's just a matter of getting it going. Once we do, I think they can serve as an advantage for us.
Q: Any changes in the line-up this week, particularly at quarterback?
This week, I'm going to start Taylor Reed.
Q: Can you give us the reasons?
I think he was productive. His performance warranted him being the starter this week. When I made Andy (Summerlin) the starter, I told you Andy had edged Taylor. It was a tough competition that went to the end. For Taylor to go in and do the job that he did and play with such tremendous poise was big. I thought he really settled down our offense. It got to the point where we were getting some rhythm, and he was productive. His performance warrants him starting this week.
Q: Other than Taylor, any other changes as far as starters go?
Potentially, yes. We're looking at making some other changes on the defensive side of the ball. We're going to get into this week and see how some of these other guys we're thinking about changing around adapt at that position.
Q: Would that be in the secondary, in particular?
Possibly on all three levels - defensive line, linebackers and secondary.