UCF Football Spring Practice Report: Day Nine

April 5, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF football team held its first full scrimmage of the spring on Saturday as the Knights ran approximately 120 plays in front of close to 300 fans at the practice fields next to the Wayne Densch Sports Center. Head coach George O'Leary ran his offensive and defensive units based on three teams during the session that lasted two hours.

The scrimmage started out with the respective first, second and third-team offenses getting series vs. their counterparts on the defensive side of the ball. The first and second-team defenses held the offenses out of the endzone in all the full-field situations, but the third-team offense engineered a pair of touchdown drives. The defenses did force a trio of fumbles during the scrimmage, including the second-team offense holding the first-team offense out of the endzone after getting inside the five-yard line.

The defense held the upperhand for the better part of the scrimmage, but O'Leary was still pleased with the progress the offense has been making under the new leadership of junior Michael Greco.

"We ran the full gamut at them today," O'Leary said. "We'll look at the tape and see how they did. There were good spots on (both) sides of the ball. Obviously, I am concerned about the turnovers. You cannot fumble the ball like that. I was happy to see (Michael) Greco take off and run with the ball. He is an athlete and that is a position where we'll make a decision on (the starting quarterback) before we leave spring. We'll also make some decisions on the depth and where possibly the freshmen coming in can help us as well."

Redshirt freshman Nate Tice tossed a pair of touchdown passes from 10-yards out to senior Anthony Davis and sophomore Jamar Newsome, respectively to put the offense in the endzone for the first two times. Newsome made a nice move on his 10-yard scoring play to elude a defender and find the endzone. Redshirt freshman Ronnie Weaver, who was responsible for one of the fumbles, made amends of that miscue when he scored from four yards out to lead the first-team offense into the endzone for the first time.

Weaver's score came after the offenses were allowed to start drives on the defense's 30-yard line. The second-team offensive unit also found the endzone after starting from the 30-yard line when senior Jayson Williams scored on a three-yard touchdown run.

The scrimmage concluded with goal-line situations as the offenses were given four plays to score from four-yards out. Greco found redshirt freshman Adam Nissley on a five-yard scoring strike, but the first-team defense held the No. 1 offense out of the endzone on their next series from the four-yard line. The No. 2 defense forced a fumble on second down during their goal-line series that senior Joe Burnett recovered.

The Knights will return to the practice fields on Tuesday with only six practices remaining to go during the spring. "We still have some segment work to get done, two-minute and redzone stuff that I want to get better at," O'Leary added. "That is where we'll spend time working next week."

At the close of the scrimmage, O'Leary commented on an offensive and defensvie player who he has seen stand out during the first two weeks of spring. "Overall, I would say Mike Lavoie. I am really pleased with him," O'Leary said. "He is blocking Torrell Troup everyday in practice and some people don't understand what a chore that is with 320 pounds hitting you all day. So, he has really caught my attention in a good way.

"Defensively, I think (Corey) Hogue has had a really great spring, not a good spring, a great spring. Again, I think there is no question, defensively, that is where all the experience is coming back. Offensively, they have done a good job holding their own. We need help in some areas to do the stuff we like to do on offense, but, overall I have been pleased with the spring and the players have really taken after it and done well."

UCF will hold its annual spring football game as part of the 2008 UCF Hall of Fame Weekend next Saturday, April 12. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be played for the first time in Bright House Networks Stadium.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.