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What They Said: UCF vs. Pitt Quotes
September 29, 2018
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UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel

On the team’s performance on Saturday…

“I thought both teams were really solid, besides the one play. Matt Wright did a really good job pinning the ball on kickoff. Something that was an issue a week ago. Offensively I thought we did a really good job of adjusting in the run game. They (Pitt) made it tough, (they) won a bunch of one-on-one situations. KZ played really well, was locked into what we were doing, and escaped sometimes when the pocket broke down and made some plays out in space as well.

 

On physical game…

“They’re big, thick, physical on both sides of the lines of scrimmage. From then defensively, they are going to make it tough to run the football. You got to win some one-on-ones on the outside. You got to be willing to stretch the field vertically. We did that. (We) hit some shots, missed a couple too. And certainly, on the offensive side of the ball, I thought we handled the physicality of the run game very well.”

 

On beating non-conference Power 6 team…

“We're 1 and 0 this week. You know the outsiders are going to judge it as they may. Our football team really does focus on the daily task at hand. We focus on one week at a time. I'm really proud as I told them in locker room. They're continuing to grow together, and you know this is our first year together, but they're continuing to buy into what we're doing. We're being more detailed in how we prepare. That's allowing us to play better in all three phases out there and that's a football team. You know it is from one of those other conferences and we certainly have handled our business today.”

 

On defense…

“Again, our (first team) defense played lights out. 33 rushes for 109 yards. We held and dominated the line of scrimmage. That was a test for them going into it. That was the challenge and our guys answered that challenge.”

On versatility…
“We're versatile because we have a lot of dynamic playmakers in skill spots whether it's tight ends…Hescock didn't have a bunch of catches today, but he played really well. He has devoted (himself) to catching the football. But the guys out wide can make plays. (With) Snelson out, the other guys step up. Otis (Anderson) had a really nice day, Marlon played well. Our backfield is versatile and deep. You saw the end, Greg and Bentavious get a bunch of runs and they did a fantastic job of playing with great pad level, pressing the hole, reading it, and picking up yards.”

On Richie Grant…
“He does a good job. When there's pressure on the quarterback, you know he's throwing back across his body. Richie reads it and he is able to cut it from the deep safety spot. He's as mature of a player on the second or third level that we have in our secondary. (He) is becoming a great team leader. He works extremely hard every day and he prepares in a great way that lends itself to being in the right position at the right time.”

On The American…
“This league, you watch it week in and week out. They win football games against other Power 6 teams. It's not made up. A bunch of these teams were from Power 6 leagues before the change in college football a few years ago. This is really good football. I thought that when I was on the outside, I think it when I'm in the inside. You better line up and come to play every single week in this league.”

On appreciation for the fans…
“Atmosphere was really good. Student body was probably a little smarter, they showed up right before kickoff instead of being out there an hour beforehand. They were probably having some fun tailgating as well in the mall area. Great atmosphere, it's been electric. Every time we've walked into that stadium our players appreciate what our fans are buying into and the energy that they create. We're really thankful that this city is taking ownership of this team and liking the product that they see and hope we continue to see that as we go through season.”

On defensive plays…
“I thought we handled all the variables really well. That comes from great eye discipline. Being dialed into the call, the multiple calls that you're going to see versus each formation and really starting to grasp what we're trying to do on that side of the ball. They played fantastic.”

UCF Running back Adrian Killins Jr.
On playing with Milton…
“It wasn’t what I saw, it was what McKenzie saw. McKenzie told me to get out and I knew that I could get out on that play, I have the option route to do what I want. I am McKenzie’s outlet and before that snap McKenzie literally told me to get out and he threw me the ball and I went for, however many yards. Playing with McKenzie is like playing backyard football, I know what he is going to do before he does it and he kind of knows what I am going to do before I do it. We have been playing together for so long, it is getting easier for us each and every game. McKenzie is a phenomenal quarterback, phenomenal leader, and phenomenal person so playing ball with him is amazing.

On his long touchdown…
It was very satisfying. It has been a while since I’ve been out in the open field to see green grass. Tonight was a great game for us as a team, it was a great team win. Defense played a phenomenal game. Special teams did a great job except for one punt return. And offense, we had our ups and downs, but on all three phases of the game there’s an improvement. We are just going to get better from here.

UCF Linebacker Nate Evans 
On what he brings to the team…
“I just try to be a team player and improve wherever I can. Speed, strength, communication with my brothers and executing plays. I try to bring everything I can to the table.”

On Pitt as a good opponent…
“A win is a win, and this was a good win. We played a good ACC opponent and just coming away with this win, it feels good as a defense and as an offense, as well as a special teams unit.”

On continuing to improve…
“Actually, this week in practice we worked on tackling and it came out in the game and it showed we had improvement. We always have room for improvement so we’re going to get into the film room Monday and make corrections for the next game.”

UCF Defensive Back Richie Grant 
On playing against an ACC team…
To be honest, every opponent is just an opponent on our schedule. We don’t really look into how big the opponent is. We just want to go 1-0 every week.

On his interception…
Yeah it was a good call, I knew where he wanted to go with it so I kind of played back a little bit. When I saw him let it go, I just broke on it.

UCF Quarterback Makenzie Milton
On not being satisfied…
Am I satisfied? No, not at all. I thought we left some points out there. I thought I made some poor throws. I thought there were a few I didn’t follow through on my throws all the way. 18 for 34, obviously it’s about 52%, definitely room for improvement. Whether it’s being on the same page as the receivers or just getting the ball into a position where they can catch it.

On high expectations…
Any time you step on the field, you want to improve, whether it’s going from this game to Monday’s practice, you always got to find an edge. If you get complacent you get nipped in the butt in college football week in and week out. You see Syracuse giving Clemson a close game today. It’s week in and week out, you can get beat any day. You just always have to be better than yesterday.

On Bortles comparison…
It's cool. It speaks volumes of the coaching that we have and players that we got. It means a lot. I look up to Blake. He's a legend here obviously. Any time my name's in the same sentence as him you know that's kind of big.

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