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What They Said: UCF vs. Cincinnati
November 18, 2018
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UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel

Opening statement…

“Obviously, great night. Just really so excited that fans got an opportunity to play a huge role in the ball game. Great atmosphere. I thought defensively, (it was a) dominating performance. The turnovers that they caused, the fourth down stop. They kept us in the ball game early while offensively we got our footing. Then just a great performance from special teams. Great team victory. Divisional title, get an opportunity to go play for a conference championship here at home in a couple of weeks. We'll enjoy this one tonight and then move on quickly to South Florida.”

 

On the experience of this week…
This whole weekend is just a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves. That might not be the right word, but everybody being here on campus, I think it's first time most of the people have gotten a chance to really see what our university is all about. The size of it, the energy and the passion from our fan base, what a game day atmosphere looks like inside of our stadium. This is big time football. We've got great players on the field. I think everybody saw that tonight and again we got an opportunity to go 1-0 and add another tally to our season. Hopefully people enjoyed what they saw.”

 

On clinch The American East Division…
“That was the importance of tonight. An opportunity to come back home and play a conference championship game here in a couple of weeks It's special for players, for our program to again clinch the division. The trophy celebration was quick in the locker room. We're moving on and our focus is South Florida.

 

On toughness and focus..
“There's times we played lights out defensively. We haven't always started super fast in the first half of football games. Those guys came out tonight, they were dialed into their assignments. They played gap-sound and played great team defense. We played tight coverage on the outside. You look at the way our special teams have grown throughout the course of the season, our cover units. It's changing the way our defense gets the opportunity to play because of where the opposing offense is starting with the football. They have a long field. They're backed up a lot. We get a chance to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage and play with a real aggressive mentality. Offensively, we didn't start real fast tonight. We busted protection on the first play. Don't get it started on second drive, but we get our feet underneath us in late first and then throughout second quarter and are able to go score a bunch of points.”

 

On the defensive performance…
“You talk about the guys up front, just an absolutely dominating performance from those guys. Titus off the edge, the pressure that they put on the quarterback. What they did in the run game, creating penetration, forcing the ball to bounce around. Our backers and third-level player safeties to rally the football. Great job of tackling for most of the night. You look at it, a really dominating performance.”

 

UCF Senior Defensive Lineman Titus Davis

On noise of fanbase and effect on Cincinnati…

I'll let you decide. We had a good game, definitely. The first job, before the ball even snapped, we got a couple of penalties, backed those guys up and then we knew it was because of how loud the stadium was and just seeing that, seeing a guard every play tap his center because he can't hear his quarterback, that was a big thing for us I mean just having our fans come out and show all they do is awesome.”

 

On defensive performance…

“I think the defense gives effort every game, but I think we put everything together and communicated well, we were in the right spot I felt like in almost every play. When we were on the sideline everyone was up. When adversity hit in that first game we just said ‘alright, let’s go.’ That was just a great game by offense, defense, special teams, and everybody.”

 

UCF Senior Defensive Lineman Joey Connors

On the crowd’s impact in Spectrum Stadium…

“That’s the loudest, even away games – we were at Michigan and South Carolina – that’s the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in. Six or seven false starts and that’s all credit to them. They couldn’t hear. I’m right next to center and they’re yelling at each other. They don’t know what’s going on. Three off the bat to start the game. That was unreal. I give so much credit to them, and let’s travel to Tampa next week and have the same outcome.”

 

On making a statement on primetime television…

“I think it’s a pretty big statement with College GameDay here. That was unreal. Waking up in the morning – you dream that as a little kid. Turning the TV on and seeing it’s in Orlando on UCF’s campus on Memory Mall, that was unreal. This was a childhood dream for me. When Lee Corso picked the Knights, the whole hallway erupted. We were all out celebrating in the hallway, so it was a cool moment for us.”

 

UCF Junior Running Back Adrian Killins Jr.

On making plays

“I did notice [the defensive player fly by]. You always want to make a couple guys miss. You don’t want to let that guy get a one-on-one tackle with you because I know I’m going to hear it from my teammates on the sideline and everyone else. I just love making plays and helping my team win.”

 

On making a statement every week…

“I don’t think we’ve made a statement since we played UConn. I guess you can say we put the cherry on top on this game. We have another game to finish and many more games to finish out this season. I don’t think we’ve made a statement; we’ve been making a statement since we stepped on the field with UConn.”

 

On being a dynamic team…

“It says a lot that we’re not just a one dynamic team. We can do multiple things and we have multiple weapons on this team. You can’t just scheme and set your defense up for just trying to contain McKenzie because he has a lot of athletes on this team that can get the ball in their hands make a lot of plays. Just playing this offense is great and phenomenal. Playing behind McKenzie and this coaching staff, they put us in positions to make great plays like we did tonight and each and every night we step on the field. “

 

On significance of today…

“I did watch College GameDay. I believe we made history. The attendance that was out there for College GameDay - our fans showed up and they showed out. They did the same exact thing at the Bounce House tonight. Starting off the game, they got a lot of penalties for us and I'm pretty sure the defense loved that. I loved that. I was on sideline hyped for the defense and the crowd. So, shout out to Knight Nation. We love you and we're going to keep this ball rolling.”

 

UCF Senior Defensive Lineman Titus Davis

On where this day and win rank among UCF career experiences…

“This will definitely be one of them because we just signed the deal to go back to the championship, something that’s been one of our goals and we’ve reached that. I’m just happy I could be a big part of that and help out. Definitely one of my most memorable moments”.

 

UCF Junior Quarterback McKenzie Milton

On clinching the East Division

“Especially from where this program’s come – it’s just getting started. I think we’re just scratching the surface and UCF is going to be good for a very, very long time.”

 

On winning against a Top 25 team on primetime…

“It means a lot. I think it meant a lot to the university as well. It’s been a long time coming, something like this, a game of this magnitude. We’re just grateful we seized the opportunity and played a good ball game in all three phases. But all that means for us is we’re 1-0 and we’ve got a big rivalry game next week and then we’ll roll into the conference championship.”

 

On his performance

“I think it took a series or two to get my feet settled. There was a lot of energy in that stadium tonight. I’m very thankful for Knight Nation. A sold-out crowd, it was electric there. I thought I missed some things. I’ll say maybe a B, C+. I thought we left some points out there but I thought I did a good job seeing the pressures they were bringing, getting us in the right protections and that kind of stuff. That’s a testament to being in the film room and having a game plan going in and when it comes into fruition, it’s a beautiful thing.”

 

 

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