George O'Leary Quotes - Nov. 25

Nov. 25, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tuesday afternoon, UCF head coach George O'Leary met with the media at his weekly press conference. The Knights host their season finale against UAB on Saturday at Bright House Networks Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

As a part of Fan Appreciation Day, Knight fans will be able to take advantage of a special $15 ticket offer courtesy of Bright House Networks. The special ticket offer is available through TicketMaster at 407-839-3900 and TicketMaster.com.

During Tuesday's press conference, O'Leary discussed a multitude of topics including the stellar play of defensive tackle Torrell Troup, the status of running back Brynn Harvey and the mark the senior class has made on the UCF program.

On last week's win at Memphis

"I thought we got out of the gate pretty quick, and anytime you play away, it is important to get the crowd out of the game. I think the key was that we made it exciting in the fourth quarter. We had the pick to maintain the win, then the young freshman (Latavius Murray) was trying to do more with the ball than he should have, and fumbled. But I thought it was a solid performance by the defense. The kicking game was solid. I thought offensively we had our moments."

On the quarterback situation

"(Rob) Calabrese is the quarterback. (Joe) Weatherford is going to play, and he played pretty well I thought. At least I know now that I have two guys who I can put in the game and get some things done. There is no controversy at quarterback and I wasn't trying to start one. I thought Rob was playing too fast and needed to slow down a little bit and that is why Joe went in. I said last week that I thought Joe was practicing better, and if we had the opportunity we were going to put him in."

On quarterback Michael Greco being third on the depth chart

"I thought that there were too many mistakes being made. Mike also has some injuries that I am not liable to talk about that have been nagging. A recent injury has come up that he has been complaining about. That is really in my mind where he is at now."

On the senior class overall

"The senior class has been outstanding. They have done a lot of great things for UCF and the fan base. It was a tough season for them this year. They are the ones that I felt bad about not having a postseason game. They have kept the team practicing hard, and that is the kind of things I would expect them to do. They go out and have a passion for football. When you lose them, you lose not just good football players, but good kids."

On the offense's second half decline at Memphis

"The biggest thing I saw in the second half was seeing Brynn Harvey get hurt in the first half. He had over 70 yards at the half, and then he didn't play the second half at all. I thought the other two guys (Brandon Davis and Latavius Murray) were running on egg shells a little bit. They need to hit it. I don't think we got as much out of them as we should have. Harvey is practicing right now, and he will be back."

On the emergence of Torrell Troup

"I think Torrell is the most valuable player on defense. Torrell is the one guy who has played consistent all year. He makes two guys block him which is the reason you have guys like (Lawrence Young and Chance Henderson) running free and making plays. Torrell has a chance to be an outstanding football player. He is about 320 pounds and has good flexibility, power and strength. I think he has gone unnoticed by a lot of people, but not by the coaches who are grading him all the time. He never says that much. He just puts his mouth piece in, lines up and does what he is supposed to do. That is pretty much what he has done since he got here."

On senior Joe Burnett when he arrived at UCF as a freshman

"He was an athlete. He had the ability to make plays. Joe was always a guy who was going to make things happen. He was taking chances as a true freshman where he would jump routes. You can't teach that. Joe to me is the ultimate competitor. He wants the ball in his hands. We give the hammer award each and every game, and he and Reggie Weams are about eight points apart. Joe wants to get on some coverage teams to get some points since they aren't kicking to him."

On what Pat Brown has meant to the offensive line

"I think Pat had the toughest job of all the captains. The guys that are on defense had more maturity over there and are a different kind of animal. Offensively, Pat was dealing with guys who needed to get going. He has been a guy who has started at the same position for four years. Pat will graduate this spring, and I hope he has a shot to see what he can do on Sundays."

On Sha'reff Rashad and his contributions

"He is just a real good character kid. He is the kind of kid you would like your own son to be. Everything he does, he does well. I don't think in four years that I have ever had Sha'reff's name on my desk. I don't think I have seen his name on the lists for doing something wrong or being late. When you meet his parents, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sha'reff is another guy who probably doesn't get as much press as Joe does back there, but he really has gotten his hands on a lot of balls this year and has made a difference in defensive play."