Opening Comments: "We are so close that we can't stand to practice anymore. We have practiced very physical and practiced long and created a lot of toughness factors for this football team to respond too and I am proud to say that they have responded. As far as game ready, I think we still have some work to do in the next couple of games. Coty Blanchard seems to be 100 percent back because we had some concerns about it a couple of weeks ago. We are about to find out what kind of football team we are. We came out of last season not pleased with ourselves after losing three out of our last four games. I think our season was remembered by the way it was started. I am happy about that because I want our fans to carry that type of optimism. We left last season needing to change some things. Marques (Ivory) and I met after the season about his personal situation and he has responded to that. We have nine coaches on our staff and six of them have new coaching assignments. We have brought in players with the intent of doing different things with our offense. What we are about to look at on Thursday night is considerably different from where we left off last season. I am extremely optimistic in what we can become, even though there are a lot of moving parts that have not moved together before.
On UT Martin: "We are playing what I think is a formable opponent in UT Martin. My initial thoughts on when we are going to play someone is – how good is their quarterback. Derek Carr is extremely capable and they have many skill players to make things happen. They have some really good guys that can play. They are really good at corner and I feel like up front with the defensive line. They have a new coordinator after Chris Boone, who was their coordinator, is now on our staff. Any first game is about finding out about yourself and what you don't know about who you are going up against. I believe, that if we just take care of our business, that we can take on every challenge that is presented too us. I do like that we are opening with a conference game, because it should bring something out of us that you don't get opening up with a Georgia Tech."
On expectations from the newcomers: "I expect them to do their job. The newcomers that are going to be playing in this game, I expect them to do their jobs. We have a lot of new people on the line, but I don't any questions about any of the new guys. I expect in their time not to be just players, but really good players."