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Talking Points, UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn's Press Conference

Straight to the point, here are thoughts about what UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn said at his weekly press conference.

ORLANDO - Transparency allows people to know what’s really going on. With UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn during today’s press conference, he did not sugarcoat anything. In fact, he was more open than any member of the media could have hoped.

Here are a few highlights from the press conference, beginning with UCF’s injury front.

**Regarding UCF defensive tackle Ricky Barber, Coach Malzahn confirmed that Barber tried to play versus Cincinnati, but it was not in the cards to play beyond a few snaps. Here’s to hoping Barber can be full-go against Memphis on Friday.

**Continuing with the injury theme, “Week to week,” was still the response regarding star wide receiver Jaylon Robinson. The good news, later confirmed by fellow UCF wide receiver Brandon Johnson, Robinson is staying engaged and active at practice. This will aid him once he’s ready to come back for the Knights.

**Starting center Matt Lee did not finish the game against Cincinnati, but it does not appear that the Knights will be without the starting pivot man this week. Coach Malzahn made it clear that there was no need to keep Lee in the game and risk further injury with the score being what it was in the second half when he left the contest. Look for Lee to be back with the Knights on Friday night in the Bounce House against the Tigers.

**Coach Malzahn complimented Cincinnati and how they played, but also mentioned how everyone at UCF needs to do a better job despite all the injuries. To that point, Coach Malzahn mentioned where the UCF program is as of today, and that took a lot of guts.

Is UCF a program loaded with top-end talent and depth? Absolutely not. He made a point of mentioning that UCF recruiting is going really well, but that the program is not where it needs to be in terms of overall talent. Most head coaches would attempt to make some silly remark that’s just a blatant lie. Coach Malzahn did not. Good for him.

**As for Memphis, he discussed how quarterback Seth Henigan is leading one of the top offenses in the country and that the Knights will need to be ready for the rushing attack as well.

Calvin Austin III, Wide Receiver, Memphis

Calvin Austin III, Wide Receiver, Memphis

Of all the players Memphis will utilize against UCF, it appeared that Coach Malzahn wants to be ready for Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III, the player that’s racked up 50 catches for 857 yards and eight touchdowns through a mere seven games this season.

**Aside from preparing for Memphis and discussing Cincinnati, Coach Malzahn was proud to mention that he became a grandfather for the second time this past week and that everyone in his family is blessed that his daughter and grandchild, aptly named Gus, are doing fine. Congratulations to the Malzahn family.

Thoughts

The biggest takeaway, and this is surprisingly so, was the comment about recruiting and needing to get the program where it needed to be. It’s absolutely true, but again, few college football coaches will discuss those points publicly.

Further, it was apparent that Coach Malzahn and his staff are here for the long haul. He called building the program “A process” and he knows that stems from recruiting. As for Cincinnati, he was also blunt.

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Mentioning getting whipped at several positions is also not something most coaches will admit publicly. Now, although Memphis is a good football team, let’s see how motivated the Knights will be against Memphis on Friday.

As members of the media began to show up for the press conference, UCF was at the outside practice facility, with Metallica playing Enter Sandman. Nice music choice, by the way. Hopefully the Knights were energized by the music as much as some of the media members were.

For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. It will be found on iTunes and Spotify. For more UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!

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