Troy Walters: Offense can be even better

Brandon Helwig, Publisher
UCF Sports

In the win against Maryland, UCF accounted for 428 yards of offense, 250 of which were on the ground, and didn't turn the ball over.

That doesn't appear to be a bad day at the office, but offensive coordinator Troy Walters said in reality there were quite a few mistakes and first-game type sloppiness (probably not a surprise due to the hurricane layoff), which makes it "scary" what they'll be able to do when everything is in sync.

Here's what Walters had to say this week:

What did you like when you went back and watched the film from the Maryland game?

"Man, first thing is we competed. I'm so proud of the guys. The work they've put in really dating back to since we got here. I think this victory was really a two-year process. And the work they put in, the buy-in of what us coaches are preaching. They bought in. They went in there with confidence and played a heck of a game. Proud of the offense. We ran the football better than we did against FIU. Didn't turn the ball over which was a critical factor that we knew was going to be important going into the game. McKenzie made the plays he had to make. And we finished. We were up 21-3, they score and it's 21-10 and we answered. That was big. Last year we may have folded and let them back in the game. This year we put the hammer down and finished them off. I'm proud of the overall team effort."

When you look at the performance, is that what you have aspired this offense to be? Ran well, protected well, broke off long runs at the end when the defense was tired.

"Somewhat. Actually, watching the tape, we were very sloppy. A lot of mistakes. It shows how potent we can really be on offense. With all the mistakes and some of the sloppiness, it was almost like our first game. That's what it felt like watching it. It was like our first game. We weren't crisp in some areas and we still did what we did. That's the scary part. The guys understand that we have to be a lot better against Memphis, a great team. As we move forward, we've got to be better. We can be and that's exciting."

How much more does the run game need to improve?

"We've got to improve every game. Every week we've got to get better. We should. I think the running backs hit the hole a lot harder than they did the first game. The offensive line finished. I think we were just average on the perimeter blocking. We can be better. The run game goes hand in hand. Everyone has to participate and do their job. I think guys understand the schemes and where the hole is going to be. Now it's just about effort, finishing and some of the little details. We'll get that ironed out and be better this week."

What are your impressions of Memphis?

"They're better than they were that first game. They played UCLA tough and this last week. The defense flies around. They're multiple like our defense so they'll give you different looks up front. They're going to attack you. Linebackers are probably the strength of their defense. They're downhill guys. 6, 7 and 25. Then in the secondary, they're going to challenge you. They're going to get up in your face and press you and try to make you beat them over the top. We've got our hands full. Conference game. We know this game is more important than last week. I think the guys realize that. They enjoyed last week, but put it behind them when we came to work Monday. We've had two good days of practice."

Are you expecting a shootout? Memphis is scoring 43 points per game.

"I don't know. We know they have a great offense, but we know we've got a great defense as well. We go into every game thinking we've got to outscore the opponent. Our goal is to execute, do our job and we have total trust and faith in the defense that they're going to do what they have to do. If it's a low-scoring game, we've got to score one more. If it's a high-scoring game, we've got to score one more. Either way, we'll show up and be ready to go."

The other day Aaron Evans said his favorite block from the Maryland game is freshman wide receiver Marlon Williams laying out someone?

"It was a bubble. Marlon kind of came off his guy and hit the corner and really popped him and took him off his feet and knocked him on his back. Marlon is a powerful guy. He's 6-feet, 215, 220. He's explosive. You should see him dunk a basketball. He has those capabilities. That's why he really played a lot more than some of the other receivers because he's physical on the outside. It was more of a physical, run type game where you have to block bubbles. Those guys were physical, Maryland, so we had to match them. He was the right guy to do that. You're going to see more of him. As an offense, we're a lot more physical than we have been in the past so that's exciting."

This will be your first home game in over a month, a lot of buzz about this game, as a coach do you get excited for games like this?

"We can't wait to come back home and play in front of our fans. We know the electricity and the atmosphere. Primetime game. ESPN2. Night game. It's all that we want. But we also understand that the crowd is not going to help us win. We've got to execute. We've got to prepare and then we've got to go out and play well and play better than we did against Maryland. If we do that, there should be some excitement in the stands Saturday night."

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