Shaquem Griffin: 'We're going harder than ever'
To Shaquem Griffin and the defense, the Cincinnati game served as a wakeup call.
Thanks to an offense that scored on every possession, UCF had a big 51-23 lead when the game was called due to weather after three quarters. The defense did some good things, but giving up four scores, 391 yards and 9-of-15 third downs wasn't up to their standards.
Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said earlier this week he thought the focus might have trailed off a bit. Griffin says that won't happen again.
"For us, it was definitely a wake-up call," Griffin said. "For us as a defense, I think we got a little lax. We were too comfortable in what we were doing. I think we got beside ourselves on that. It was good that Coach Frost and all the rest of the coaches were able to get us back in shape about the importance of making sure we stay to our keys and make sure we're doing what got us here. That's important. I'm glad it happened now as opposed to it happening later. Now that we're back in practice, we're going harder than ever. Having that feeling, obviously it wasn't a lot, but it wasn't up to our standards. That's the whole thing. You want to reach those standards every game. You want every team to feel your best. You don't want to step down to anybody's level. You want to give your all to each team you play against."
While it's fair to say UCF has certainly earned their top 25 ranking with the 4-0 start, Griffin cautioned they can't afford to revel in it.
"Our whole thing for us is to forget what we already did," Griffin said. "(Frost) preached that throughout the spring and summer, so we kind of already have a feel of what the expectations are. When we do something good, you can't just live in it. You've got to focus on the next play and the next day. That's big for us. We don't worry about what we did in the last game. We're worried about what we can do to get better in practice and the film and how we can get better in the next game."