O'Leary Held his Weekly Press Conference on Tuesday Afternoon

Nov. 17, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On Tuesday afternoon, head coach George O'Leary held a press conference in Bright House Networks Stadium. The coach discussed this week's game against Tulane, among other topics.

The Knights will hold their last home game of the year this Saturday. Game time is set for 2 p.m. against the Green Wave.

On team's progression through the season:
"The team's resiliency through the season has been impressive. We hurt ourselves initially with the two losses to teams (Southern Miss and East Carolina) that were predicted to win the conference. Taking a look back at the first four games, and then games five through eight, it is incredible the way our offense has improved. I credit the players for getting the job done each week, and I also credit the assistant coaches as far as getting them ready to play every week. I am very proud of what our team has accomplished up to this point."

On trailing nine of the 10 games at halftime this year:
"I dread that a lot at halftime, but I think we make the adjustments correctly to come back strong in the second half. I give a lot of credit to the assistant coaches for correcting those first half mistakes. There is not lot of yelling and screaming at halftime, but it is a lot of getting our guys to realize that if they do something properly, then we will be successful."

On receiving help from other teams in the conference in the C-USA title race:
"Well, I know who is playing who each week and the outcomes. I told the kids earlier in the year that we have to go out each week and control our own destiny, and do what we have to do. We were in a six game series with those other teams in the conference, but now we are in a two game series. The kids understand and the coaches understand that no matter what the other teams do, we have to be able to play our game and still get our wins to help ourselves out."

On the progression of the young secondary:
"Those guys have improved each week. They have done a great job as far as seeing different routes thrown at them and being able to read them. I think the two freshmen Josh Robinson and Kemal Ishmael are really going to be fine football players. Michael Greco has done a great job at the safety position and being able to make that transition this year. Then, Justin Boddie has done an adequate job at being able to cover some great receivers every week. Overall, they have really responded to what offenses have thrown at them, and being able to shut down a lot of the big plays. I feel it has helped a lot for them with the rush up front that we get. We cannot have a great secondary if it not for those guys up front getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks."

On the defensive front seven:
"Every week, those guys show up to play. That group has done really well at being able to show up in practice, and to work hard on knowing what their assignments are. I tell them every week that once they cross that white line, it is game day and it is time to go. And they really respond by getting great pressure up front against some great offenses."

On what he expects to see out of Tulane:
"They have a great receiver in Jeremy Williams. Their running back (André) Anderson is a really great player. Both of them are very close to getting over 1000 yards on the season. They beat UTEP a few weeks ago, and have been close on some other games. But if you go up and down the list of teams in the conference, you can see that each week can be different. That is what we have been telling our guys that yes you are coming off a big win, but you have to be able to come out the next week and play just as hard as the previous week."

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