|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET12:00 AM GMT8:00 AM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Oct. 7, 2017|
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 27,253
UCF opens play as ranked team at Cincinnati
Scott Frost took the classic coach's response as his Central Florida team moved into the Top 25 this week for the first time this season.
"I don't really care where they rank us. I could care less," Frost said after the Knights (3-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) disposed of Memphis 40-13 on Saturday. "I told the team I want us to enjoy this win. We're flushing it.
"We're pretending these first three games never happened because we've got an eight-game season in front of us. If these guys play like they did tonight, we can accomplish whatever we want to accomplish."
He reiterated that notion this week as the 25th-ranked Knights began preparations for their Saturday night game at Cincinnati.
"Absolutely not," Scott said when asked if he would use the ranking for motivation against the Bearcats (2-3, 0-1 AAC). "We're not going to talk about any of that stuff.
"In fact, I asked the players what their record was this morning and they knew the answer. It's 0-0. I asked them where we were ranked, and they said 'We're not.'"
The coach might want to underplay UCF's first national ranking since 2013, when the Knights ran off a 12-1 season that included a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor. However, it is a rather significant milestone for Scott and his program.
Consider, just two years ago the Knights went winless in 12 games during coach George O'Leary's last season. Now they are not only a Top 25 team in Frost's second year, but they also are looking to start a season 4-0 for the first time since 1988, when they were a Division II program.
"I'm happy for the guys, but I'm never going to say we're satisfied," said Frost, who led UCF to a 6-7 mark in 2016 after a stint as offensive coordinator at Oregon. "Saying I'm satisfied is like patting myself on the back, and that's exactly what I'm telling the team not to do.
"Winning is better than losing. We've won three. We're going to keep going, and maybe we'll have time to be satisfied at the end of the year."
Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, the former Ohio State assistant, sees UCF as a "mammoth challenge" for his Bearcats, who have lost their last two to Navy and Marshall since winning two of their first three games.
"They've done a great job," he said when asked about the Knights. "They've got skill all over the place. They've got a quarterback that's done a really good job. They've upgraded, from what I've watched last year, a lot of the skill defense with a lot of defensive linemen and things."
The quarterback Fickell refers to is McKenzie Milton, who as a sophomore is in his second season as UCF's starter. He ranks No. 8 in the country in touchdown passes with eight in just three games and is No. 14 in total offense with an average of 325.7 total yards per game. He is producing 62.0 yards per game rushing and 263.7 passing.
"He does a great job at extending plays," Fickell said. "He's very mobile. You probably look down there and don't see as many rushing yards as you might think, but what he's done a better job of this year than last year is his ability to scramble to throw.
"Where last year I think he would scramble to run, this year he scrambles to throw."
The situation for Cincinnati at quarterback is completely the opposite. Fickel said he was toying with the idea of putting backup Ross Trail, a sophomore, in for starter Hayden Moore last week when Moore completed only 22 passes in 45 attempts in a 38-21 loss to Marshall.
Moore has completed only 52.6 percent of his passes for 1,097 yards for the season with four interceptions and nine touchdown passes. Fickell there is "a chance" that Trail, who missed a month's practice time after sustaining an abdominal strain in the preseason, could play this week.
"It's basically how the game's going but also how practice goes," Fickell said. "We do evaluations on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well, and you get a good sense when guys are completely locked in, and you feel like as a coach where you've got an opportunity for a guy to give you a spark, to give you momentum."
Updated October 3, 2017