Memphis head coach brought true freshman signal caller Taylor Reed with him to the postgame press conference. After the proceedings, Coach Porter promised that he will continue bringing a freshman with him to address the media on a case-by-case basis.
What follows are quotes from Coach Porter and Taylor Reed's part of the press conference, along with bonus audio files which capture the presser in it's entirety, along with unedited sessions with Akeem Davis, Dontari Poe, Marcus Rucker and Andy Summerlin.
MEMPHIS HEAD COACH LARRY PORTER
"First, I would like to commend Dan Mullen and the job that his team did. He had his team prepared to play, and they got on top of us early. We couldn't respond. I felt that we gave them too much, too early. We never got in sync, and penalties were certainly a factor.
"We put our defense in some bad situations, and we just couldn't respond. I am proud of my team. I thought they fought to the bitter end. Obviously, we can't sustain losing like we just did. But I do see a
bright future ahead."
About the Tigers' defensive struggles:
"Once the ball (carrier) got to the secondary, it was difficult for us to bring them down. They were generating speed and momentum, and we just couldn't bring them down. To give up that many yards is just unacceptable.
"Coming into this game, I felt like we had a great game plan to stop them, and to keep them off-base in terms of what we were doing. But, they broke off a few runs and we just couldn't bring them to the ground."
About the play of true freshman quarterback Taylor Reed:
"First and foremost, I was proud of the way he played. I felt like he came in and played with tremendous poise.
"He came in and settled our offense, some. (With him in the game,) We were able to sustain drives and move the ball down the field. We got in some-what of a rhythm, but I would like to have seen us put more points on the board. But, I do agree, he was a bright spot."
On making the switch at the quarterback position, so early in the game:
"Well, Andy (Summerlin) actually got injured. He suffered an ankle injury early on in the game, but we kept him in the game for a few more series. It was obvious that (the ankle) was bothering him, but we
had to make the decision to pull him and put Taylor (Reed) in the game."
What does the starting quarterback position look like for next week at Arkansas State?
"Well, we will have to go back and grade out the play tonight, but right now to make any judgment, right now, would be unfair. We need to go back and grade film, first."
On the contribution of young players:
"Well, it is obvious that we have some young guys who can help us, and we want to put them in a position to do so."
On the play of the defensive line:
"In my opinion, our defensive front did a pretty decent job. I thought that we didn't finish properly incertain situations, but I don't feel like they (Mississippi State) just drove our guys off of the ball. I think our defensive line can certainly be an advantage for us as we progress throughout the season."
On allowing big plays:
"I don't want to hit a panic button, because I do f eel as though there is more continuity in our defense,this season. But, again, we can't sustain the big plays that we gave up. That is what happened. You look at some of the runs that their (Mississippi State) backs had, and we just can't allow those. We have to put ourselves in better position to stop that.
"You look at (Vick) Ballard's first run, and that should have been a tackle. You look at their first touchdown pass that they had, and that should have been a tackle. But, I understand where the break downs were, and we just have to get them fixed. We will look at ways to improve in some areas, but the things that I am concerned about are injuries. We had a few guys get banged up tonight."
Freshman quarterback Taylor Reed
On making his first appearance as a Tiger:
"Coming in, I got to go out and watch Andy (Summerlin) put together a few drives and that helped me to settle in. I felt that we could move the ball, and we did at times, but we just couldn't finish drives."
What did you learn most from this experience?
"Well, they (Mississippi State) are probably one of the best teams we will play all year. The speed of the game was different (from high school), and that is one of the biggest things I learned from this game."
Bonus audio footage:
Entire Larry Porter/Taylor Reed interview section