Quick Turnaround

Nov. 20, 2013

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By Chip Fontanazza

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Extra bye weeks have been very beneficial for UCF (8-1, 5-0) this season. The Knights have had three off weeks this season, which gave them extra time to prepare for opponents. But this week of preparation is a bit different. In fact, it’s almost the opposite.

The Knights will be facing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-4, 2-3) on Thursday night in front of a nationally-televised audience at Bright House Networks Stadium. And they will have the least amount of time to prepare than they’ve had going into a game all season.

UCF is coming off a heart-stopping, 39-36 victory over the Temple Owls, which keeps the Knights undefeated in American Athletic Conference play. The team knows that in order to keep their league record unblemished, the focus had to quickly move to Rutgers almost immediately after the game in Philadelphia ended.

“Every game is a championship game and as soon as one is over it’s on to the next one,” UCF redshirt sophomore center Joey Grant (No. 55) said. “If we want to reach our goal and everyone is on the same page as far as that, we just have to regroup and move onto the next week.”

Senior defensive lineman E.J. Dunston (No. 95) has prepared on a short week before. As one of the veterans on the squad, the Eatonville, Florida native says he wants to set the example for younger players, who have been playing more and more key roles as the season winds down.

“I don’t do too much yelling and screaming,” said Dunston. “I want the guys to play hard, practice hard, but I have to show them my work ethic because the week is shorter. Guys’ bodies are still a little banged up from Saturday, but that’s all out the window. We have to work hard and prepare hard.”

Kickoff for Thursday night’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. For more on how the Knights prepared during this short week, watch the video above.