Blake Bortles - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

(On if there is still hope for this team) "Yes, it's what we have talked about since the bye. You have to get one [win]. You have to get one to get rolling. We continue to let opportunities pass us by and eventually we're going to have to change that and win a football game. That's the only way to get hot and get a win streak going; you have to start with one. No better week to start than this week."

(On this week being a big game) "It's a team we saw twice last year. Obviously once in the playoffs and both times at their place, and we were able to come out of there with a win. It's a team we're familiar with a bit as far as personnel and things they do. I think it's an opportunity – it's a perfect game for us to get fired up. They're playing [well]. They're having a good year thus far. It's a chance for us to get back on track and headed where we want to go."

(On Pittsburgh being a physical game) "Yes, no doubt. I think that was a big part of why we were able to have the success we did last year. To beat this team you have to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That's a big part of what we're trying to do and what we're going to try to do on Sunday because you have to be effective. Like you said, it's a physical game. Whoever wins that physical battle up front is probably going to come out the winner of this game."

(On seeing the ability to dominate up front with the return of Leonard Fournette) "Yes, I thought he did a good job. We stuck with the run. I know there wasn't as many big runs or anything like that, but I thought it kept them honest and made them do some different things. It allowed us to get back to the offense that we want to be."

(On Steelers fans travelling well) "I'm sure there will be a ton. It's a home game, we love to play in front of a home, sold-out crowd. With their fans and the way they travel, I'm sure there will be a bunch of them. Regardless, it will be fun to play in front of our fans."

(On the offense returning to its original plans with Fournette running the ball) "With what we did last year, it kind of felt like that again, as far as looking at those guys in the huddle and having Leonard in there. It was good to have him back. It was good to get him back. He hasn't played in seven weeks or whatever it was. For him to get out there and get his bearings back about him and get back into the flow of the game and carrying the ball and doing all that, I thought it was a good start for him."

(On how one player can help form an offensive identity) "The way he runs, the proof that he has put out there, the way he ran all last year. The stuff you have seen from him and and the things he can do on a consistent basis gives the guys up front confidence. If you get on a guy and hang on for a second or two then Leonard is going to get by and make something happen."

(On the loss of Brandon Linder) "It's big. A captain of the offense. He's the anchor in the middle of the line. Any time your starting center goes down it's a bit of a challenge. Shatley has a lot of experience. He has played a ton of games at center and at guard. I'll have a chance to work with him throughout the week. I have all the confidence in the world in him. We actually played Pittsburgh last year during the [regular] season with Shatley at center, so he has some familiarity with this team and blocking these guys up front."

(On Keelan Cole's regression) "He's going through a bit of adversity. He'll fight his way out of it and be just fine. He's a second-year player. We still have a lot of young guys in that room. He went through a little adversity and is fighting his way out of it. He'll be just fine."

(On what has changed during the last three games where he has not thrown an INT) "Throwing it to our team. The focus is always on taking care of the ball. There are times with tips and stuff like that happens. Obviously, the Kansas City game was a big one throwing four dingers. You try to avoid that at all costs. I wouldn't say my awareness of it has changed at all, it's always high. I know that if I protect the ball we're going to have a chance to win, regardless of anything else, as long as we don't turn it over. It's always the plan going into the game."

(On if he is surprised at how much UCF's 'brand' has expanded) "I never expected it. When I left we had just won the Fiesta Bowl. It was awesome and one of the greatest seasons UCF has had, but never in a million years did I think it would be where it is at now. Credit to Scott Frost and what he did coming in for his two years and obviously Coach [Josh] Heupel and what those guys are doing down there is pretty incredible and fun to watch."

Advertising