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“Silent defense is not good defense” – The Denver Post

The end of the War On I-4 rivalry game between UCF and South Florida in November resulted in the final game.

But it probably didn’t have to be that way.

Leading 17-13 with 1:20 to go, Bulls first-year quarterback Timmy McClain was picked by Divaad Wilson, likely securing the win for the Knights.

The turnover, however, didn’t count as Big Kat Bryant jumped offside and USF was able to walk down the field.

This error is used as an example again this spring by defensive coordinator Travis Williams.

“Those are the things we show the guys,” Williams said. “The game was supposed to be over. They shouldn’t even have reached the 3 meter line.

Focusing on hard counting a quarterback in the red zone is something the Knights worked on in Saturday’s practice, which instead of a scrimmage was mostly situational work.

In addition to avoiding offsides, Williams emphasizes communication in defense.

“A silent defense is not a good defense,” he said. “We want them to talk and be confident.

“I want to hear the chaos speak. Whether it’s the safeties that say “sky to the left, sky to the right” or the verbiage we use, let’s talk about it. The more you talk, the more confident you are. As coaches, it will make you feel much better.

A vocal knight is Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, UCF’s only starter at linebacker’s return.

“I love being around him,” Williams said of the eldest. “He breaks down the caucus and he communicates. He’s a guy you can hear.

Other linebackers are emerging alongside Jean-Baptiste, which is what Williams hopes to see in the remaining two weeks of spring camp. The Knights lack experience in this position.

Jean-Baptiste is joined by junior Quade Mosier and redshirt freshmen Cole Joyce and Kadeem Leonard. Mosier mostly came off the bench in defense while appearing on special teams for two years.

Leonard and Joyce, who appeared in a game, took on redshirts while spending most of 2021 with the scout team.

“All of these guys are fighting for playing time,” Williams said. “All these guys try to do everything I ask of them.”

The young group of linebackers also admire Jean-Baptiste.

“They lean on him,” Williams said. “He is doing a good job coaching them and spending more time with the guys. It’s important to him. »

Williams will listen carefully to the communication on defense when UCF practices again on Tuesday, ahead of a second spring scrimmage on Thursday.

Email Jason Beede at or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.


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