March 31, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming off its first scrimmage on Saturday, the UCF football team returned to practice on Tuesday in full pads. The session lasted just over two hours with rare cloudy skies overhead.
Installation of the Knights' running and passing games was a primary focus in today's practice. Towards the end of practice, full 11-on-11 contact was used as the offense went against the defense from the 10 and 20 yard lines providing a look at the red zone offense and defense.
UCF head coach George O'Leary told the media after practice that he was satisfied with the way quarterback Rob Calabrese and running back Brynn Harvey have progressed through the halfway point of spring practice.
Tomorrow, the Knights return to practice at 9 a.m. on the fields in the shadows of Bright House Networks Stadium. All spring practices are open to the public.
UCF will hold its conclusion to spring practice with its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 11 at Bright House Networks Stadium. The scrimmage begins at 2 p.m. and general admission tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000, online at UCFAthletics.com, or in-person at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Following practice, UCFAthletics.com caught up with junior defensive end Bruce Miller. Last year, Miller recorded 54 tackles, lead UCF with 11 quarterback hurries and was selected to the All-Conference USA Second Team. The Canton, Ga. native has played a major role on the front seven during his time with the Knights.
On the speed of today's practice:
"It started out a little slow. I feel like it picked up as we went along with practice. We had a couple of live periods. We started competing."
On how the defense has improved since the first practice:
"We have always improved every day as we have been installing more stuff. It is easier to come together and be on the same page with each other."
On Torrell Troup being double teamed on the defensive line:
"It opens things up for everybody, when he is taking the double team. They are focused on trying to contain him and that lets a couple of the other guys get loose and be single blocked. He is a big contributor to that defensive line. It takes so much pressure off the other guys when he is in there doing that for everybody, the linebackers and the rest of the defensive lineman."
On molding into a leader on the field:
"Just from an experience and leadership point, Cory [Hogue] being here for a long time. Torrell, Travis [Timmons], and myself have played for a few years from a leadership ability that we have on that side of the ball and the experience mainly."
On helping the young defensive secondary:
"The biggest way that I feel we can help them is by just putting a lot of pressure on the front and quarterback. The whole front seven is returning. I feel like we can be a big contributor to our defense and put a lot of pressure on the offense. It is easier on the defensive backs when we are getting pressure and the ball is coming out fast."
On the camaraderie on the defensive line:
"I feel that we all work together. We have all been around for a long time. Even the young guys, Darius [Nall] and Jarvis [Geathers] have been here for a while. I really feel that we work together well as a group."
On how your spring classes are progressing:
"Classes are going great. I am trying to keep the grades up. I am trying to stay up on my academics. Having practice, just adds another load. Of course, when we get done with practice, everyone is tired and you want to go to the room and rest. You really have to focus on your academics and stay on top of that."
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.