On the Missouri game carrying more weight:
"People have found out that Akron and FIU are better than people thought. I think the big thing is that you play Ohio State, you're playing Missouri. They're SEC, Big Ten teams. You got to win those games if you want to get any notoriety. The players understand it is the fourth game. It's an important game. I think any time you can bring the SEC in to your house it should be a big deal with your fan base and everybody else concerned with the game. To me it is important because we start our conference right after in four days with East Carolina on Thursday. So it's always a better Sunday when you get a win on Saturday especially with a short week."
On Missouri's spread offense and past games:
"Everybody we face is no huddle. ... I think everyone is in spread now. I still like contact in the box and stuff like that. The good teams, even though they're spread, are running the ball better than they're throwing it when you really break them down and look at them. I think Missouri is that kind of club. I think they have great, big receivers out there but they run the ball extremely well between the box, in between the tackles. Their running back is the fastest kid on the team and the backup is second-fastest. So, they got some juice at running back that can hurt you especially with the type of offense they run. You try to defend everybody else on the field. It breaks down to where your front five or front six, they got to make plays. They got to be a gap and a half, not just their own gap. They got to play another half-a-gap to make up for the people that are in coverage. But Missouri is that way. When you look at them for the Georgia game, I think the score of the game is not even the case of the game. I think they're right in to that game and then they have a couple of turnovers which broke the game open. They were right in to that game the whole time. Arizona State, they're up (24-7) and Arizona State came back on them. I just think, looking at them, they looked a little bit out of sync against South Carolina. But they're a very, very good defense. They got a bunch of guys back that play a lot of ball for them. I think they got some outstanding players on defense. Offensively, they have weapons out there. Obviously, it starts with the quarterback making the right plays and the right reads in the passing game and run game. They are a talented football team. They have everything that's supposed to happen - athleticism, size and speed. So we are going to have our work cut out for us."
On putting pressure on Missouri QB James Franklin:
"It bothers most quarterbacks when you put pressure on them. ... The big thing in this game is that when you have the opportunity to make a play, you cannot miss it. You got to make the play. Whether it is in the open field or attacking the quarterback, whatever it is you can't have missed assignments or missed plays when you have the opportunity to make them. That's the difference in the game."
On the status of RB Latavius Murray:
"He's practicing this week. He got Okayed by the doctor last Friday to go out. He's still in a yellow shirt. He's taking hits and stuff. He's in the game plan on the offensive side of the field. On how much he plays, I don't know. We'll see how the week develops as far as where he's at. He missed three weeks. He definitely won't start in the game unless he shows something really tomorrow or on Thursday. But I think he has to play this weekend. I think he will play."
On ball security:
"They really do. They have a big CPR (club, punch, rip) team. We've been preaching it. We have our show teams which are the scout teams and they'll do all the CPR drills and strip them every chance they get. Ball security, I think, is very [important] especially if you get down field. The backside guys are coming in; they're looking to strip right down. We've mentioned it to the players; we're working out in practice. Again, in the heat of them game you just got to remember 'high and tight.' As I tell them, you don't have to worry about it if you got hats on hats. This is a big week for "BOB" - body on body. You don't worry about all this CPR if you got body on body in the run game. Pass game is the one I'm concerned about where receivers catch and put it away when somebody else is coming."
On poise being a concern for QB Blake Bortles:
"Well I don't know if it was poise as much as he was staring guys down (at Ohio State), which is a lack of experience. I think the picks he threw, two were tipped. That basically means the defense is getting a jump on you so you must be staring the stuff down. I think that's a matter of just experience. You got to be able to look stuff off. I think he's done a better job with that. But I think the picks that he's been involved with, one was just he should have ate the ball in the Akron game. You get picked trying to make a play when he wasn't there. And in the Ohio State game, I thought two of them were tipped because he was staring it down. Again, you can't do that. But that's just a matter of experience and how many snaps you've been behind the quarterback. He's had three games behind center as a starting quarterback. And I have no problem with Blake. I think he basically has the ability to make a play and I just don't think he can have bad plays. He still has the ability to take a bad play and make a good play out of it which is the sign of a quarterback developing."
On the play of punter Jamie Boyle:
"I think Jamie Boyle has really done a great job for a first-year punter coming through. He had five inside the 20 and three inside the 10 the last game which keeps the offense on a long field which is what you are looking for defensively. He's done a great job under tough situations too. So, I've been very, very pleased with him."
On the identity of the UCF defense:
"Well, I hope it's the identity of us in the first half against FIU. That's what we need to see for 60 minutes. I think it comes down to consistency. I still get disturbed with some guys out there. Football is a contact-speed game. We still have some areas that I think we need to improve on. It's very hard to hide a guy that doesn't want to mix it up on defense or offense. We got to get better at the wide receiver position as far as blocking, contact and speed. We just can't be sticking our hands out. You got to be able to deliver a blow. I think we got to improve on that. That leads to long run plays when you get those second-level guys blocked. Again, the identity I don't know defensively. I think we got some big-play potential guys but we got to get more out of them. If I was to put them in situations that could help them, as far as they get some one-on-ones. We got to get our hands on more balls from an underneath coverage standpoint. That's the other thing. I look at deflected balls. That tells your underneath coverage is getting to the ball. I think it's going to be a whale of a game Saturday. I think Missouri is a good football team. They have played two tough teams in the SEC and both games they've showed enough talent to concern me as far as what they can do offensively and defensively."
On MLB Terrance Plummer:
"He needs to play better in my opinion. He may have all those tackles, but I'm looking for how many tackles-for-losses does a defense have. That's what the one item that we are missing, I think, on defense right now after three games. We've had some sacks and all but it's the TFLs that put the offense behind the chains. That's where we need to improve. That usually goes with your front or your linebackers. I got a lot of linebackers that are making tackles 10 yards down field. I'm looking at the other side. Who makes them on the other side of the line of scrimmage? That's where we need to improve. But I think Terrance - for a young kid, sophomore - has done a good job. But I expect more, each game, from him."
On being physical:
"The SEC is that kind of conference. They run as much as spread as anybody else but their spread is a little different from some of the other conferences. They pass it just to see how much run they got. I think you got to be able to bone up and get off blocks and make plays. When they have the ball in space, you have to secure the tackles. What I've seen and been impressed with by this Missouri team is their hidden yardage after the catch."
On the impact of the fans for this type of game:
"It's big. I think the fan base is critical at a home game, any home game. I think the players react to it. The fans get excited to it. Football is a game of momentum and that's started by the stands. A big play on defense or offense, where the fans get all excited. That's what generates a lot of enthusiasm. That's what the game is about. The fan base Saturday is going to be critical."
On competing with big schools:
"We've competed with everybody. I think we can line up and hold our own throughout the country. I think the big thing is that we need to get more productive plays and chunk plays out of our offense. You can't grind it out against equal personnel all the time. You got to be able to make a guy miss and make some chunk plays out of some plays. I think Charlie (Taaffe) has done a good job of trying to tag stuff so certain guys are involved in certain plays."