UCF's Bright House Networks Stadium may not seat 100,000 fans like Ohio State, but Jose Jose says it's louder and he hopes to see it rocking this Saturday when FIU pays a visit for the home opener.
The junior defensive tackle is one of several Miami players on the roster looking to avenge last year's loss to the Golden Panthers. But don't call it a 'rivalry.' Jose says no way.
Video: Jose Jose interviewClick UCFSports.com caught up with Jose - who played every snap at OSU despite Urban Meyer's goal of "wearing him out" - to talk about this week's matchup and what the team has to do to improve.Here to view this Link.
Talk about this week a little bit. You're a Miami guy playing FIU. Last year's game down there is not one of the games you'd probably like to remember. What's the focus this week? Are you looking to avenge last year's loss down there?
"We're treating this game as any other game. We need to go out and make more plays on defense, including myself personally at the defensive line position. We need to use this game as a stepping stone to get back to where we need to be and that's on the winning track."
I know those guys are talking about this as a rivalry. Do you look at this game in those terms?
"It's another game. Another Saturday. There's no rivalry. Just another game."
Obviously being from the area, they've got a lot of Miami guys on their team. Do you know anyone on their team?
"I don't want to. For this week, I don't really care."
What sticks out about those guys? Just looking at them as a team. I know they have a mobile quarterback like you guys have been facing.
"They're a good football team. From an offensive line standpoint, they're small, scrappy guys that give a lot of effort. They can beat you, not by ability, but by effort. So this week we have to give a lot of effort as a pass rush, blitz and coverage because they have a relentless effort to keep going and that's what makes them a good team."
I know when you start looking at conference teams, you look at film of games and teams you've played before. It's unique to see this early, FIU played Akron this past week. Are there unique advantages in seeing how they did against a team you've already faced?
"Basically, I just see it as more film. From the first game, second game to third game. There's always more film that you can evaluate. I feel the more film we have, the better. Them playing Akron just gives a little heads up of what they're going to do. It's nothing special. Just more film that we're able to evaluate."
It's kind of like your first season where you're the primary guy playing. Did you play all the snaps at Ohio State?
"I played every snap at Ohio State."
Their coach mentioned that they're going to try to wear you out. You played every snap. Looking back now, first two games, where do you have to improve?
"I need to make more plays. I'm in the right position to make the plays. Now I need to make them. I need to keep my head up when I'm coming off the ball because I'm missing a lot of plays that are right there for me. This game I"m looking to make a lot of plays that I'm supposed to make. Coach has put me in position with alignment and assignment. This game's focus is really to make the plays I'm supposed to make."
Obviously you wanted to beat Ohio State. The game is over. But do you take that as a learning experience, take things in that game to help you get better going forward. You faced some pretty good players there.
"Any loss to any team is a learning experience. It tests your character. It tests your ability. We just feel like we beat ourselves in that game within alignment, assignment, just pursuit of making plays. Bottom line, the game is making plays and that's what we have to do to win."
I know you guys talked before the season that you had the ability to win every game. Certainly you had the ability to beat Ohio State. You didn't do it, but do you still feel confident and excited about the season ahead?
"Oh yeah. We certainly feel we can beat every team that comes up every week, but we have to take every team seriously and make plays. That's the motto for me and the d-line. Make plays. Make more plays from a d-line standpoint."
You've been on the road. Ohio two straight weeks. You get to come home now for a game. How excited are you to play in front of the home fans?
"We're ready to come back to the Bright House and hear those chants. I think it will be a real motivation and boost just to be home with our family and our fans. Play in front of the people that we love and that we see every day."
How loud do you think Bright House gets? I don't know if you heard the talk last week, but there was chatter about how loud Ohio State was going to be, but UCF gets pretty loud too. There may not be 100,000 fans in those stands, but it gets pretty loud. You guys hear it, especially when you're on defense, right?
"It's like they have extra microphones in there. Ohio State wasn't that much louder to me. Maybe one or two plays, but for the most part we have the same, intense fans. The stadium actually rocks here. The energy is still there wherever we play. Here, Ohio State. We can compare to anywhere when it comes to stadium and loudness."
So you're especially hoping the fans are juiced and ready to get after it on Saturday for FIU?
"I'm pretty sure they are."
Any talk from family or friends down there? Is this a game they look at because it's Orlando and Miami? Is there some talk?
"I have a couple friends that go to FIU as regular students. You know, they're calling telling me they're going to whoop our butt. You know, it's all a friendly rivalry basically."
***UCFSports.com offers the most comprehensive coverage of the Knights that you can't find anywhere else. Get breaking team and recruiting news, in-depth interviews and exclusive photos from practice and games. The football season is here - don't miss out!
Click here for your seven-day free trial - We'd love to have you on board!