Thu04242014

Sports

Tigers bye-week ready for Rice

To put it gently, the 2012-13 campaign has gotten off to a rocky start for the University of Memphis. Although the Tigers have showed some promise and competed closely in their first four games, Memphis has yet to record a victory.

Luckily for the Tigers, their bye week couldn't have come at a better time – the week before conference play.

Memphis will play host to the Rice Owls this weekend (Oct. 6) at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and the Tigers are looking to get their conference effort started on the right foot.

It is hard to imagine the Tigers turning this season around because Memphis' record of 0-4 doesn't look good on paper. Still, the Tigers still have a shot at having a good showing in conference play.

Rice has four losses and only one win headed into its Memphis road trip. And only two teams in all of C-USA boast a winning record thus far into the season. In fact, only 4 of the 12 teams in the conference have more than 1 win.

Tigers' head coach Justin Fuente has also taken note of the strength of the conference as a whole.

"The conference is probably not happy where it's been in out-of-conference play (as compared to) where it was last year," said Fuente. "Last year (C-USA) was a strong conference in non-conference play."

Fuente is definitely trying to use the bye week as a chance to refocus his squad. He says conference play brings "a renewed sense of get out there and go. It's pretty straight forward."

The optimism is great, but what are the Tigers going to do better or differently to win the close games that they have been letting slip through their hands?

The running game has been a problem area for Memphis and it's gotten plenty of attention during the bye-week break.

"(We) went through and examined every single bit of it," said Fuente. "We're going to try and get as much out of what we've got as humanly possible. I would like to say we left no stone unturned."

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