ORLANDO - UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn placed Navy in the rearview mirror, discussed the explosiveness of East Carolina running back Keaton Mitchell, his new quarterback, Mikey Keene, and what the Knights need to do to improve overall versus the Pirates.
This first clip provided an inside look at Mitchell, one of the most dynamic running backs in the country. Mitchell currently averages 9.6 yards per carry, and he’s coming off a game in which he ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns versus Tulane.
One of the prime topics during Coach Malzahn’s press conference would be Keene, and Coach Malzahn was impressed with what he saw from his freshman signal caller’s first start at Navy.
Here’s the full Coach Malzahn press conference, followed by comments regarding what he said:
Coach Malzahn did not sugarcoat the loss to Navy. He reiterated the need for the UCF coaching staff to do a better job of helping the players, and he also made it evident that he really likes his team’s leadership. It was refreshing to see a coach take responsibility and his words not to be obviously fake.
Hearing Coach Malzahn also provide insight into the team adjusting to being back on the practice field was good news. This team needs to hit the ground running against East Carolina. As for his quarterback, Coach Malzahn was happy after the fact.
It was apparent that Coach Malzahn was concerned with how Keene would react making his first start on the road. He also made it clear that Keene handled the game well, including ball security and getting the team “...out of bad plays.”
Coach Malzahn went out of his way to make it clear to everyone that Keene threw the football away when needed, avoided sacks, and helped the Knights be in good plays based on what the defense was doing. All good signs moving forward.
Let’s see how the Knights come out against an explosive East Carolina team this next Saturday evening.
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