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September 12, 2013Terrance Plummer knows they'll be up for their biggest test yet when they travel to Happy Valley this Saturday to take on Penn State. It's a been a solid start to the season for the junior middle linebacker, who leads the UCF defense with 17 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss.
Plummer met with the media earlier this week.
The defense has given up just seven points over the first two games and has been very stingy in total defense. There were some questions going in, particularly in the secondary, so are you happy with the production thus far?
"We're happy, but we're not satisfied. Coach won't let us be satisfied. We've got to keep going. Just seeing the stats, it's crazy, from what we had to go through during the spring to summer time. All the questions are things of that nature. It feels good to be doing what we're doing, but we've got to continue it."
One area that Coach O'Leary has stressed improvement is pass rush up front with the defensive line. From your perspective at linebacker, what needs to change to get more pressure on the quarterback?
"They've just got to keep working at it. It's second effort. We're beating guys on the first effort, but the quarterback is stepping up. You have to have that second effort to get back to him. Work on the pass rush lanes. They're working so hard at it. Working every day. Today they came out early working on pass rush. They had one-on-ones with the offensive line. They'll get there. Deion Green has two sacks. They're trying to get more. Instead of one sack per game though, we need to get four or five a game."
A lot of young players saw time at FIU. At one point there were eight true or redshirt freshmen on the field at the same time.
"That's always good getting those first college stats. Shaquill Griffin got to play. Blake Keller got a sack. He actually made a play on the ball and Troy Gray got the fumble recovery. For him to get in there and get experience is great. You never know. One man goes down, it's the next guy up. It's good to get experience going into these big games. Some of them will have to play this week."
I know you guys got home from FIU at about 4 a.m. on Saturday. I'm sure you slept a few more hours, but did everyone get up to watch Penn State play Eastern Michigan at 12 noon?
"We actually did. We watched it as a team in the recruiting lounge. Eastern Michigan was with them in the first half, then Penn State blew it open in the second half being the solid team that they are. They constantly pounded the ball. They made plays when they need to make them. That's what we picked up. They're a good team."
You've been watching a lot of game film as well. What else have you picked up on about Penn State?
"They've got a huge offensive line. They're about 6-6 at the tackles, 6-4 at the guards. 300 pound guys. They've got a great receiver in Allen Robinson. Big running backs. Zach Zwinak, he's a good back. They have another back, Bill Belton, he's a good back. They've got weapons everywhere."
Penn State has a true freshman playing quarterback, Christian Hackenberg. What can the defense do to try to rattle a player that doesn't have much experience yet?
"This is only his third game playing quarterback, so the thing you have to do is move the defense around. Throw different schemes at him. We've just got to play our defense. If we play our defense we'll be fine. He's new to the game, so you throw different looks at him and things of that nature. Come out and play hard and physical."
Do you guys let yourself think about what a win would mean for UCF?
"Like I always say, it's another one-game season. To us, every win is a big win. It would be just another win. I think it would be more for our fans, the campus and stuff. But for us, we would take it as another win just like last week. That's what we're trying to do, keep going through the one-game seasons."