Scott Frost Press Conference - East Carolina Week
Scott Frost says UCF's offensive performance last Saturday at Cincinnati was right up there with how well Oregon executed at times during the Marcus Mariota era. Every possession resulted in a score - seven touchdowns and a field goal.
Even without playing a fourth quarter, UCF now leads the nation in scoring offense averaging 47.5 points game.
Frost spoke more about that performance along with many more topics during weekly Monday press conference.
On calling the game at Cincinnati, what would have happened if the game was closer:
"Yeah, I don't know what would have happened if the game would have been closer. I assume we would have had to wait it out a long time. The conference office is the one that made the final decision probably based on the weather and the score in the game at the time. I think everybody agreed that it was probably the best for both teams after we'd been in the locker room for so long."
On the offensive performance at Cincinnati, scoring on every possession:
"I was pretty pleased. I think the improvement that these guys have made in a season and three-quarters games is pretty remarkable. We gave up on sack. Missed a couple balls that were close. I think overall they just played well. It was our best week of practice and it was our best performance in a game. I think the guys recognized that they're preparation leads to success. It was the best preparation we've had."
On the improvement of McKenzie Milton:
"McKenzie is doing everything better. I think he's a better leader. He's a better player. He's hitting all the passes he should hit. He's really throwing the deep ball well, driving it down field, but a lot of that has to do with our line giving him time and the ability to step up in the pocket and drive it down field. We were missing that last year quite a bit. There's a lot of guys playing well around him. His control of the offense and his ability to make decisions and hit the guys is much improved from a year ago."
On McKenzie's improved arm for deep balls:
"Yeah, I think Mario has done a good job with his mechanics. I think Zack has done a good job not just with him, but the whole team in getting guys stronger and more capable physically. Then mentally, he's come a long way understanding where the ball needs to go and he's getting it there on time. His play has been pretty impressive through four games."
On whether it's a "giant leap" for McKenzie:
"Yeah, I think there's a lot of guys that have made a big jump from last year to this year. I think that's the reason we're having some success as a team. McKenzie was a freshman quarterback. I didn't start as a quarterback until my junior year of college and still I wasn't even close as a junior to what I became as a senior. Having a year of eperience under your belt makes a lot of difference for a quarterback."
On UCF becoming comfortable with his system:
"Where all these questions are going, I want to guard against talking and acting like we've arrived. We're not there yet. We can still get a lot better. I think there's still a lot of improvements we need to make. I want our guys to stay hungry. As far as picking things up, I'm blown away every week in this season with how quickly our guys pick up game plans. It's really impressive. We give them new stuff and introduce them to new things on Monday. Things that took until Wednesday to get right last year, they've got it down on day one which just allows us to get more reps during the week at those things. We're carrying more plays into games than I've ever carried as a coach. We're still really clean last week. These guys really understand the scheme now and most of our stuff fits into the rules they've been introduced to and repped a lot. With all that being said, I'm really impressed with what they can handle and how they can pick things up."
Whether they intentionally recruit smarter players:
"We look at every aspect of a young man when we're recruiting them. One of them is a guy that's a fast blinker. Because you don't just have to be smart, you have to be able to think quickly especially when you're operating at a pace and tempo. Guys that can see things and process them fast. Even just a play signal and be able to get lined up and remember everything they need to remember in a short period of time. That's important in our offense. We definitely want guys that are fast blinkers."
On different offensive players stepping up:
"We're starting to develop some weapons and that's great. It was Tre'Quan's turn Saturday. That's great for him. I was so excited for him. The amount of work he puts in, his work ethic on the field, his leadership for us on offense, his willingness to go in and take scout team reps on special teams, he was due for a big game like that. But we have other guys stepping up. Otis one week and AK one week, Marlon had a great run for us. He continues to get better. There's guys across the board on offense that are starting to make plays. That gives us a lot of options."
On UCF's defense vs. Cincinnati:
"I think third down was the big problem. For the most part, I think the guys on defense played well on first and second down. We gave up too many third downs and weren't able to get off the field. It was lack of communication here or having the wrong leverage or technique on another play. We were close to getting home a few times, but I think their quarterback made some good throws. It's a learning process. We can never feel like we've arrived. Our defense has played really well, so it's almost good for them to have a little bit of a letdown or not quite as good a game so they can go back to work and make sure they fix the things that went wrong."
On the consecutive offsides penalties vs. Cincinnati:
"They were just hard counting us. We need to make sure we're disciplined in watching the ball. It's something that if we continue to have it happen we're going to see it all year, so that's a problem we need to get fixed."
On the chemistry between McKenzie and Tre'Quan:
"I think chemistry with the quarterback and a receiver is mostly about a quarterback trusting a receiver to throw it to him. I think McKenzie trusts Tre'Quan. I would to if I was a quarterback. When you throw it up his way, he's great with the ball in the air and can go get it. Both those guys have improved this year and we kind of saw it in spring. Their improvement. Their chemistry and watching them complete passes in the spring. It's starting to come to fruition this fall."
On tempering the excitement and pats on the back for the 4-0 start:
"Having other people pat us on the back is probably inevitable when you're having success. We have to keep our guys from patting themselves on the back. That's when it really becomes dangerous, when our guys start to buy into the fact that they're good. We have a lot of room for improvement yet. We've got to follow the same formula of having a little bit of a chip on our shoulder going into these guys. I think our guys did coming from where this program came from. I talk to the players all the time, praise and blame is all the same. The same people who are going to tell you you're doing great are the ones who are going to criticize you when you're doing poorly. They're both imposters. Usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. We're doing a lot of things well. We're doing more things well than we used to, but I want our team to stay focused and keep improving day in and day out."
On the Monday practice:
"I thought today was great. The guys came back to work again. Sleep is going to be important for us this week. We didn't get back until really late Sunday morning. We've got to make sure we get the guys caught up physically and rested. But they came out with good energy again today. It was a good start to the week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be important for us."
On whether there is a correlation between a great week of practice and a great game performance:
"It doesn't always correlate. But we tell the guys you never rise to the occasion. You sink to the level you're training. However we performed in practice, that's probably what we're going to get in the game. There's always circumstances or breaks that go one way or another, but for the most part if you practice well it's going to show up. The great thing is I think our guys understand it now. We don't even have to remind them. They see how good practice leads to good execution and good play on Saturdays. That's great as a head coach to watch the process work where you try to show them the way and what you try to show them works. Now they believe in it. We've got a whole team on board right now with what we're doing and exciting things are happening."
On whether Frost is surprised they've been winning games so easily:
"We've won by a pretty good margin here lately, but those games could have been closer. The Memphis game in particular, if they hadn't turned the ball over in our red zone a couple times that would have been a dogfight. I think at Maryland probably would have been different if they hadn't lost their quarterback. The scores have been a little lopsided, but those are good teams. Usually in those games, a couple breaks go one way and it can change a game a lot. We've gotten the breaks so far. A lot of those we've created. We need to make sure we continue to create breaks for ourselves."
On East Carolina:
"I'll have more time to watch them through the week. I think offensively they're still dangerous. They have as good a passing attack as anybody in our league. Our defense is going to have to be ready for that. We're going to have to get after the passer, the pass rush. We're going to have to defend well on the back end. Offensively, watching their defense, I think they're sound and they have good players. They've given up some big plays to a few teams, but they've played some pretty good offenses. We're going to have to be on our toes. Every single game in this conference if you don't play well you can get beat. We need to be at our best on Saturday."
On whether this UCF offense compares to a past team he's been with:
"When I was at Oregon, we had things rolling for a long time particularly with Marcus at quarterback and then Vernon at quarterback. Marcus' first start, I think we scored a touchdown on the first six or seven possessions of his career in his first game. That's the only game I can compare that to. Maybe a game at USC where our offense pretty much everything we ran worked. That was an impressive performance. The guys came out and did what we asked them to do. I think we had them in some good things. McKenzie and the guys made it work. It was a fun game to call plays in because whatever we picked seemed to work out pretty well."
On players being able to play different positions in this offense:
"We're continually looking for ways to get those guys the ball. We're going to put AK in different positions to get him the ball. He was really close to breaking a couple more big plays the other day. Otis is a guy we can move inside or out. He's really good with the ball in his hands too. He's a really good football player. We're generating some ways to get Tre'Quan the ball and he's taking advantage of them. We're starting to develop a lot of weapons in this offense and guys we're looking for ways to get them touches."
On the development of center Jordan Johnson:
"I think Jordan has taken a huge step forward the past two games. He continues to improve every week. I'm starting to see some leadership from him as far as making the calls on the offensive line. He's getting up to the second level to make blocks for us which is making a big difference on some of the longer runs that we have, when he can get out and get up on linebackers. That whole group is improved and it's great to see guys like Sam and Jake getting some meaningful reps and playing well. That gives us depth that's going to help us improve and get better toward the end of the year."
On Tyler Hudanick's status:
"He went and I think his body just wasn't used to that kind of rigor. We thought he was going to go this week. We're being a little cautious with him to make sure he's all the way back. I continue to think he's close and he's gonig to play. We're looking forward to him being 100 percent and back. We just can't quite get him over the hump."
On whether there is a concern UCF hasn't faced much adversity in games:
"I don't know. This team has faced plenty of adversity, particularly the guys who have been around. When you go through an 0-12 season, it's hard to imagine more adversity. We've had some off-the-field things that we've had to work through as a team, two hurricanes and a rain shortened game. This team is used to dealing with some things. I've been so impressed with how they've dealt with curveballs and changes as a team this year. I have no doubt these guys will handle adversity in any game pretty well."
On whether Frost uses anything for motivation, like showing how Iowa State beat Oklahoma:
"I mentioned the Iowa State game to them before the game Saturday. I think that was a 30-point underdog that went to Oklahoma and won. Those games happen. It's college football. People play up. People play down. It's hard to be at your absolute very best 11 or 12 weeks in a row. Our guys understand that people will be coming at them. We've got to be at our best every week, especially in this conference. We'll continue to make sure we do what we can to get them at their best physically and mentally going into games. This group is handling everything we're throwing at them pretty well this year."
On UCF becoming a member of a Power Five conference:
"I do. I think UCF has absolutely unlimited potential. The size of this school, the community we're in, the support we're starting to get and the success we're starting to have, not just in football but a lot of sports. I think it points to what UCF could become. I'm excited about where this program is headed and where this university is headed. I think sports and academics and campus, all those things are going to continue to excel and stand out on a national stage. I think it's just a matter of time before UCF starts getting attention. We'll see where conference affiliations change. We're thrilled to be in the AAC right now. It's a great league, but I do think UCF has potential for more."
On the AAC with three teams in the top 25:
"I think that's going to be the way this conference is every year. There's teams in this league every year that can beat the big boys. I think the teams that do are going to be ranked. USF has certainly earned it. Navy has earned it to this point. I think we've earned it. There's other teams in this league that are really competitive and will have a chance to be there at the end. This is a strong football league. There's really good talent in this league and really good coaching. I don't think this is an anomaly. I think you're going to see the American in the rankings every year."
On how winning helps recruiting:
"The best thing for recruiting is winning. We're doing well in recruiting. We're staying in contact with a lot of people we think we have a good shot at. This is a fun place to be right now. Fun place to play football. The way our team is embracing each other and going out on the field and having fun. I expect to have more success going forward in recruiting."
On Seyvon Lowry's second interception of the season:
"Seyvon is one of my favorite guys. He's a special kid. He pours his heart out on the field every time. It's great to see him have success. I tell you what, if we can finish the year with Seyvon catching as many interceptions as McKenzie has thrown, we have a good chance to win some games."