PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — LSU’s motivation for the Fiesta Bowl has been a topic of conversation all week in the desert, especially considering the apparent lack of motivation that their SEC brethren the Auburn Tigers had when they faced UCF in the 2018 Peach Bowl.
You can probably file this quote directly into the “Whatever motivates” folder, but here’s what senior LSU tight end Foster Moreau said about the Knights on Friday:
“These guys are playing for a national championship in this game. So, if we don’t come to play, we’re remiss. We’re lost. We shouldn’t be here if we don’t come to play.”
On Saturday, junior linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. said Moreau is right; the Knights are trying to become national champs again in next week’s Fiesta Bowl.
“I really believe that,” Divinity said. “Every team they played, they played them great.”
Check out @EricLopezELO talking #UCF in the @Fiesta_Bowl on the latest @AAC_Daily with @C_Austin_Cox https://t.co/52Z6FF0Sz6— Black & Gold Banneret (@UCF_Banneret) December 29, 2018
Do the Knights believe that another national title awaits them?
Perhaps the better question is, given the pure uncertainty of that notion, do they care?
It’s a hard no.
“That’s stuff for the media to decide and everybody else in the world,” senior defensive end Titus Davis said. “We’re just playing to go 1-0 again. How we feel about the game is everybody wants to win each game, and this is our last one.”
To play with our brothers. To send the seniors out victorious. To go 1-0. That’s on what the Knights have their sights set. They’ll leave any mention of a championship repeat to the masses.
“I’ll let all the other people be worried about [any national championship talk] because it’s not our place. It’s not our decision as players,” senior linebacker Pat Jasinski said. “We’re in this game and we’re excited about it. We’re going to go out and execute and give it our all because it’s the last one with this group. I think that’s what we’re focused on, not all this other big-picture noise on the outside.”
Sophomore safety Richie Grant probably put it best with this succinct response:
“UCF wants to win. Period.”
LSU’s Devin White really, really, really doesn’t like #UCF football’s 2017 national championship. https://t.co/Xl66CBwDDB— Black & Gold Banneret (@UCF_Banneret) December 29, 2018