MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While the Tigers hold their first practice Friday, Thursday marked media day for the highly anticipated 2018 football season. Through all our interviews Thursday, one theme was common and that was motivation.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I don't think about it all the time because we were that close and to be that close and not win it sucked. And it still sucks," said Drew Kyser.
It's been 243 days since the Tigers fell in the American Conference championship game but that 62-55 double overtime loss to UCF has fueled this team everyday since.
"Anytime you get that close, it should make you want to get it that much more. Since we fell short in a close tough game it should make everyone come back hungry and not complacent and ready to work," said Tony Pollard.
"Memphis as a team we have a chip on our shoulder. We didn't finish to well last season. People said we had a good season, we did have a good season but we didn't finish how we planned. This year we are hungry to get back out there to finish it the right way," said Damonte Coxie.
"The expectation at Memphis is not the same. We expect more out of our team. We expect to go to conference championships and we expect to win conference championships, we expect to get invited to a New Year's 6 bowl," said TJ Carter.
As if the Tigers needed a bigger chip on their shoulder. Thursday the first coaches poll was announced and the Tigers are not in the top 25, but are one of the others receiving votes.