"It's been a long time since we've been at home, but we have another stretch coming up where we aren't going to be at home. I know everyone loves being at home with the fans being loud, but we have to keep playing hard, regardless of where we play," said UCF Coach George O'Leary. "I think it is a good win and a well needed win as far as the program is concerned."
The Knights certainly were in need of a win, as they had lost three games in a row and had lost their first conference game of the season, falling 58-13 at UTEP. Last season, the Knights just squeaked into the C-USA championship game, as they finished with one conference loss.
While O'Leary didn't go as far to say that the game was a must win, his players definitely felt that the Knights needed to win the game in order to stand a chance to repeat as conference champs.
"It was a must win game, it was the second game in the conference," said Ronnie Weaver. "We just knew that we had to come out in this game and play hard and do our best to secure this win, because going 0-2 in our conference is hard to come back from."
"We needed this one bad," reconfirmed Joe Burnett. "We needed to get back on track and did."
In the East division, Marshall is the only team that hasn't a suffered a conference loss, so players know that things are wide open.
"I think this was a must win, because we couldn't afford any more losses in the conference with how competitive things are on the East side," said Bruce Miller. "We have a lot of games coming up though that are must wins, they are all at this point if we want to reach the goals we set at the beginning of the season."
Miller is correct when he says the East division is wide open, as a team with one loss is basically guaranteed of a spot in the championship game. Currently, the Knights are tied with ECU for second place in the East, as both teams have a 1-1 conference record. Marshall may currently lead the division with a 2-0 record, but with games against both squads in November, UCF controls its own destiny.
The Knights know that they cannot take any games for granted. UCF will go to Miami this week for its final out of conference game, and then head to Oklahoma to take on Tulsa in a rematch of last season's championship game.
With the Knights fighting to repeat as the conference champs, they have put themselves in a position to still win their division, despite the disappointing start. Still, UCF must take care of business week in and week out, and cannot look ahead of anyone in the wide open C-USA.
Mission Accomplished for Knights
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