McKenzie Milton: Bigger goals await

Brandon Helwig, Publisher
UCF Sports

UCF's top 25 ranking is nice and all, but quarterback McKenzie Milton reiterated the same message his teammates and coaches have been echoing all week: They haven't accomplished anything yet.

"It's cool, but it still means we have a lot of work to go because there's still 24 teams that are better than us," Milton said. "We've got to keep working. We can't get complacent. Now is not the time to dwell on it. We've still got eight more games left in the regular season. If we want to get where we want to go, American Athletic Conference Champions and maybe a New Year's Six bowl game, we've got to keep working. Take it one game at a time. You can't look too far ahead... We haven't really done much yet. We kind of want to look at it like we're still 0-0. We want to be 1-0 at the end of each week. Every week presents a new challenge and this week we have a pretty tough Cincinnati team on the road, so we've got to have that road warrior mentality and we've got to come ready to play."

In 2016, UCF defeated Cincinnati 24-3 which was the win that propelled the Knights to bowl eligibility. Several weeks later Tommy Tuberville resigned as the Bearcats' coach making way for Luke Fickell, formerly the defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

Cincinnati (2-3) struggled in their season-opening win against FCS Austin Peay, managed to stay somewhat competitive in a 36-14 loss at Michigan, rallied to win in the final minute at Miami-Ohio and are coming off back-to-back losses against Navy and Marshall.

"Up front, they're pretty physical," Milton said. "In the back end, they're pretty quick too. They rally to the ball pretty well. They're a good team. I played them last year. They're a very good team. Their record may not reflect that right now, but they're a solid group."

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Milton then answered several questions about being coached by Scott Frost.

"He brings a lot of energy," Milton said. "I think we have the best coaching staff in the country. I may be biased, but those guys are awesome. They bring energy every day. It's not like you get up in the morning and you don't look forward to going to practice. It's not like a drag. It's fun to come out. It's fun to see those guys. On Fridays, they're out there in the cleats catching balls and throwing passes, running routes against the DBs and stuff. It's pretty cool."

Frost has been known to take reps at quarterback on occasion too.

"In the spring time when we were getting prepared for Georgia Tech and Navy, triple-option teams, he was playing triple-option QB," Milton said. "He'd put on the helmet, the cleats, everything. He was doing pretty good. He was tearing up our defense."

As a former quarterback himself, Frost also shares a special connection with Milton.

"He told me when he transferred from Stanford back to Nebraska he wasn't liked very much," Milton said. "He had to earn a lot of people's respect. I thought that was pretty cool that he faced adversity in his time. I kind of went through a similar thing. It was pretty cool to see that and see where he's been to where he is now."



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