July 30, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With a new format for the league's annual media day, UCF head football coach George O'Leary took part in Conference USA's video conference Thursday to share his thoughts about the upcoming season with several members of the media.
Along with a large contingent of local writers and television stations joining him in person, O'Leary was introduced at 12:30 p.m. and each coach was allotted 15 minutes. He opened up by talking about the offense.
"We do lose one player that was in the two-deep last year offensively in Pat Brown and everybody else is returning," said O'Leary when asked about the offense and new coordinator Charlie Taaffe. "So obviously I expect to see a lot of progress from where we were last year with a lot of our younger players who were handling the ball. I think I saw great improvement in the spring as far as competitiveness and maturity, and I would hope to continue to see the same growth this season and continue on through the preseason.
"With the addition of Charlie Taaffe, I do think he's a coach that has a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. I expect to see a lot more multiple situations going on from an offensive scheme standpoint, and for our offense to be one that can move the ball and put points on the board."
O'Leary then touched on the defensive side of the ball as well as special teams.
"Defensively we return everybody up front and the two-deep except for one player. And we're fortunate enough to get back Darius Nall who was an all-conference freshman player who returns after a year out with an injury. The secondary we graduated four players, but we have a lot of athleticism back in the secondary and lot of those players have (seen playing time).
"On special teams, the punting game is back in tact and the kicking game is solid. I feel very good about our football team as far as being a very solid team, and being very competitive with an opportunity to score points and stop people on defense which is what it's all about."
After his opening statements, O'Leary dove more into specific positions, as well as how tough a place it is for visitors to play at Bright House Networks Stadium. When the video conference with UCF came to a close, he spent an extra 18 minutes answering questions with local media.
The Knights have seven home dates this upcoming season, and fans may contact the UCF Athletic Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 or log onto UCFAthletics.com to obtain ticket information. The season-opener is set for Sept. 5 vs. Samford.
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.