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What they Said: UCF at USF
November 23, 2018
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UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel

On the team’s performance on Friday…

“I’m really proud of our kids and the way they competed the entire night. Defensively, it was a suffocating performance, both in the run game and getting after the quarterback as well. We had tight coverage on the outside, coverage units were fantastic all night long. Offensively, we found a rhythm, got some things going, created some big plays in the run game, and then enough in the pass game in the second half.”

 

On Darriel Mack Jr…

“Extremely proud of (Darriel Mack) in the way he came in, the poise he played with, taking care of the football. He missed a couple things, but then rebounded and found a way to make some plays as well. Typical of who he is and how he’s practiced really since the East Carolina game.”

 

On McKenzie Milton…

“Obviously it was a traumatic out on the field. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him right now. I’m not going to discuss anything medically, right now, until I get more information.”

 

On the team’s second half performance…

“Our guys care deeply about everyone on our football team, and certainly McKenzie as well. You could tell by their reaction, wanting to be over near him, by him, their support for him, with everything that was going on in that moment, it’s hard. I’m proud of our kids. The resiliency to come back from something like that and continuing to play football, because this game did matter. Our performance the next two and a half quarters. I’m proud of the way they finished the ball game.”

 

On keeping focused…

“Your thoughts continue to be with a kid when he’s going through something like that. At the same time, I thought our entire football team was able to put enough thought into what we were doing, execute, and go play well.”

 

On the defensive performance…

“They have rose to the occasion. They’re playing great team defense. Everyone’s playing assignment-sound. It starts with our guys up front. They penetrated, played on the other side of the line of scrimmage in the run game, they created pressure on the quarterback. We played tight coverage on the backend as well. We have tackled really well the last couple weeks. It’s been a big key.”

 

On Greg McCrae…

“He continues to play and execute and do the little things at such a high level. He’s had huge ball games. Guys up front are doing a great job. Guys outside, wide receivers as well, tight ends, but he’s doing a great job of pressing the line of scrimmage, and understands what we’re trying to accomplish and helps deliver those guys to their blocks.”

 

On the undefeated regular season…

“It’s a team game. I told the players in there, tonight was really indicative of what we are made up of as individuals inside of our locker room and how that allows us to be the type of team that we are. We’re resilient. We’re mature. We continue to fight, and we do it the right way. We play for one another. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a privilege to come and coach these guys every day. The best part of my job – and there’s a lot of great things at UCF – is getting the opportunity to work with these young guys every day.”

 

UCF Freshman Quarterback Darriel Mack Jr.

On McKenzie Milton’s injury…

“I was just praying for him and praying that he is okay. Praying that no matter what happens, God has his hand over him and just trying to do it for my brother.”

 

On the difficulty on taking over after Milton’s injury…

“It is very difficult seeing him go down with him being our guy. It is very emotional for me, I am always around him so just seeing that hurts my heart and I’m just praying for him and hoping that he is okay.”

 

On focusing on taking over as QB…

“Just stay ready like I always do. Having the team on my back and going out there and playing for him, playing for the rest of the school, and playing for our city.”

 

On what he said to Milton as he left the field …

“Just telling him that God has his hands over him. KZ is a great guy and everything is going to be okay with him. I just let him know that he is going to be okay.”

 

On putting aside the emotion and continue the game…

“It was very difficult, but I still knew I had a job to go do. I just tried to block it all out right now and go get a win for my quarterback.”

 

Difficulty on taking over after Milton’s injury…

“It is very difficult seeing him go down with him being our guy. It is very emotional for me, I am always around him so just seeing that hurts my heart and I’m just praying for him and hoping that he is okay.”

 

On his self-confidence …

“I have a lot of confidence. It’s not like I am out there at all. Practice has been helping me a lot and I’ll be ready.”

 

On what the team needed to do in the second half coaches…

“We just need to go out there and play our game and playing within ourselves. We needed to make plays when they needed to be made and that’s what we did.”

 

On messages to him from offensive teammates…

“The whole team let me know that they got me, but I already knew that though. It was really just going out there and making plays where they needed to be made so that’s what I did and we got the victory.”

 

On playing Memphis again…

“Seeing someone is always good, but it still comes down to the film room. Things change what they do defensively and we are going to get into the film room and watch film and be ready for them on Saturday.”

 

On playing for McKenzie…

“That’s all I’m doing. That’s my guy. I’m pretty sure the whole team is going to be playing for him.”

 

UCF Junior Linebacker Nate Evans

On what McKenzie Milton means to this football team…

“QB 1, that’s all I can say. What he means to me personally, all I can think about when you hear McKenzie’s name is smiles and laughs and Hawaiian food. That’s my brother and seeing him go down really hurts.”

 

On Knight Nation showing up…

“Shoutout to Knight Nation, we love you all and thank you all. We just need to keep that going. Having that energy like that gives us players goosebumps out on the field cheering for us and over-cheering the home fan base. It means a lot to us as a team all around.”

 

UCF Sophomore Running Back Greg McCrae

On McKenzie Milton’s injury…

“It is heartbreaking because McKenzie Milton is a great person. It isn’t about McKenzie Milton the football player that you guys see all the time, it’s about him as a person and seeing that happen to him is devastating to the whole team. We rallied around that and used that as motivation and energy to play for him. We played for 10.”

 

On his performance in the second half…

“It was a great job by the offensive line and they picked up a lot of blocks. The holes were there and we made great adjustments on the fly. The o-line provided a lot of holes for me to run through and I just took it.”

 

UCF Junior Offensive Lineman Jordan Johnson

On McKenzie Milton…

“You know that’s my guy, McKenzie. He’s a great dude, took me back to Hawaii with him. I’ve had so many good experiences with him. I was heartbroken, definitely. I dropped down to my knees. I’m hopeful for a speedy recovery. That’s all I can say.”

 

On the fan support…

“Knight Nation is amazing. We wouldn’t be where we are without our fans. They’ve been there with us from the beginning. They stick with us. Whenever we go on the road we’re there. Whether we’re right around the corner in Tampa or if we go to North Carolina, they’re always there, so we appreciate them.”

 

UCF Defensive Back Richie Grant

On the resiliency…

“We have a relentless group. Our brotherhood is for real. Our group is relentless, so we rally behind each other. We play for each other. We played for (McKenzie Milton).”

 

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