George O'Leary Press Conference Quotes - Nov. 14

Press Conference

Nov. 14, 2006

Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF Head Coach George O'Leary discussed a number of topics at his weekly press conference held at the Wayne Densch Sports Complex on Tuesday. Among those were his team's latest victory at Memphis and the Golden Knights' upcoming tilt with Conference USA foe Tulane in New Orleans on Saturday.

The Knights (3-7, 2-4 C-USA) snapped a four-game skid with their 26-24 win at the Liberty Bowl over the Tigers and will look to win back-to-back road games in C-USA play as they gear towards a match-up with the Green Wave (3-7, 1-5 C-USA).

On today's practice...
"Yesterday, we didn't go on the field. I wanted to show a lot of tape on ourselves, making some corrections and on Tulane. They just went out and ran 10, 100s yesterday. I thought they had a little more time off to get back. They knew they were a day into the game plan. I thought both sides of the ball were moving around pretty good today. I thought they both went after it pretty good today, against each other also."

On improvement in the red zone against Memphis...
"I think (Michael) Torres has improved, no question, as a kicker, but you still want to be scoring points down there, touchdowns. You cannot keep taking three points, which you are not going to turn away, but our biggest thing is we have to be a lot sharper in the passing game, a lot sharper cuts in the routes and a lot better delivery. A couple of those throws, I thought we should have had, but the ball was either late or the route should have been better run. We'll continue to work on the red zone every week. We've improved there from the standpoint that we are not walking away with zero points, which we were doing earlier in the season."

On Emery Allen making the big tackle on the last drive in the Memphis game...
"Emery Allen is a true freshman. We put him on an island out there and he is going to make some mistakes, but I said it three weeks ago, he is going to be a great player before he leaves here. He is just a great competitor. A lot of his mistakes are just awareness mistakes, they are not effort mistakes or anything else. They are awareness. Awareness will get better as you mature more. He is going to be a really fine football player. I am using him in the return game this week - in the kickoff returns, to see if he can help out there. I am trying some different people out just to see where we are at in those positions."

On the UCF quarterback situation...
"I am getting a lot of e-mails on why am I starting Steven Moffett. I have made no change from three weeks ago when I said I am going to evaluate the quarterbacks each week and the one I thought was doing the best job with the game plan and moving the team, I am going to start. I thought last week, Steven had the best week as far as doing the things he needed to get done. He got the start. I thought he went out and performed pretty well. He really did and I was happy with his performance. Again, they are into today and tomorrow's game plans and I'll evaluate, grade them and make a decision. They both understand I am trying to keep competition at that position because I think it is needed. I would suspect both would play this weekend."

On the problems Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard presents to opposing defenses...
"Like he has given every other defense, he is a big 6-foot-6, 230 guy who can throw the ball really well. When he is on, he's on, there is no question about it. Last week, he got replaced and the other kid came in and moved the team in the run game. He was a kid that was at LSU and transferred into Tulane, so he is that caliber of player as far as getting things done.

"And basically, Tulane has played a tough schedule - LSU, Auburn - they have played a tough schedule and I don't think their record is indicative of the talent base they have. They have been in most of the games I have seen on tape. Again, they lose games because just like we lose games, you do things you are not supposed to do - turning the ball over, penalties, stuff that you shouldn't be doing.

"They have a good running back, Forte, who I think is a really fine football player. They are aggressive on defense. They blitz and put pressure on you there. I think the big thing is they spread you out and put us in space. We have to perform better in space, react a lot quicker and be aware of what is going on from a tendency standpoint."

On young guys emerging on the offensive and defensive fronts ...
"I think Neil (Bittong) is a kid that just gives you everything you have. He has been sort of buried for a year, mainly because of size. Now, he is up around 270 and change and he does a lot of good things. Would you like to see him bigger? Yes, but at this point I am looking for guys that will play every play to the sound of the whistle and the echo of the whistle. I think that is what he does. I am still looking at the young kids inside - Torrell Johnson and Travis Timmons - the freshmen who I think are going to fine players once they get understanding the speed of the game and what has to take place. I think up front is the toughest position to play early, whether offensive line or defensive line because everything happens so much quicker. That is why I was happy with Jeramy DeVane. He started at (offensive) guard and played the whole game and really did a nice job. He got himself in some trouble with some rush situations, but as far as putting a hat on a people and playing to the speed of the game, he did a nice job."