MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ryan Silverfield is happy he got the first win of his career since becoming the head coach of the Memphis Tigers. He joked post-game with reporters on Saturday that he was winless since the Cotton Bowl when the Tigers lost to Penn State.
Now that the Tigers got their first win of the season against Arkansas State, Silverfield said he has looked at the film and is pleased overall with what he saw. But, the first-year head coach said they have to cleanup in a few areas, mainly not committing so many penalties.
“I think when you got 12 penalties in a game, obviously that’s a direct reflection of me,” Silverfield said. “That’s something I told the staff… that I need to do a better job making sure I address those issues at practice.”
Silverfield said he plans on working with his team this week to clean up making errors like those during the game. Additionally, he said he would like to work on the team’s execution. He said improvements are needed on both ends of the ball, but most importantly he is focusing on not committing 12 penalties again. Memphis 12 penalties cost them 102 yards.
Silverfield said he was not happy the way his team started on the defensive end of the ball. In the matchup against Arkansas State, the Red Wolves outscored Memphis 14-7. He said they are using the first quarter as a learning tool moving forward, as to what not to do on the field.
Kylan Watkins impact:
The junior running back got a chance to play a lot of snaps at the receiver spot in the 37-24 victory over Arkansas State. Silverfield said he is very proud of Kylan Watkins’ work ethic. Watkins finished the night with 14 carries and 52 yards. Silverfield said he plans on using Watkins’ versatility in various ways this season.
“He’s going to be huge,” Silverfield said. “He’s one of those that we feel like can play that role, where we used a lot of guys in the past. Whether it be a Kenny Gainwell-type, Antonio Gibson, Tony Pollard, (where we used those guys in the backfield at receiver.) He’s a huge key to this offense.”
Early Bye-Week benefits:
The Memphis Tigers are on a Bye Week due to the modified football schedule. Originally, Memphis was scheduled to play against Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, this week. But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Big Ten decided to postpone its football season until the Spring of 2021. Silverfield said there are some benefits of having an early Bye Week.
“I think anytime you have an early Bye, obviously, it’s a little bit different. It’s a little bit awkward, but I think with our shortened training camp, we’re making sure we are knocking that rust off everything. I think it is nice to have. We are a little bit dinged up,” Silverfield said.
Additionally, Silverfield said this will give he and his coaching staff more time to prepare for Houston, ahead of their primetime matchup next Friday, Sept. 18.
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