George O'Leary Quotes - Oct. 26


GO KNIGHTS George O'Leary knows that his team will be challenged on Saturday.
GO KNIGHTS
George O'Leary knows that his team will be challenged on Saturday.
GO KNIGHTS

Oct. 26, 2010

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By Christian Edwards
UCFAthletics.com

UCF head football coach George O'Leary met with the Orlando media on Tuesday to preview Saturday's C-USA showdown against East Carolina. Here is a sampling of what he had to say.

On the Rice game...
"I thought we started off the first 30 minutes and were pretty consistent. We played very well on all sides of the ball, offense, defense and special teams. I thought the second half we had some good plays and a lot of consistency, but in a lot of situations we could have played a little bit better. Overall, it was a good win and we came out of it healthy."

On the game vs. East Carolina and conference implications...

"Well they are all big. This game will put someone in the driver's seat. You still have a lot of football left to play in the conference and especially ourselves. We have a lot of big conference games coming up in the next month. Each one is going to be important, but again you play one at a time. This game here, based on records, will be a big conference game to see where you are at in the conference as far as knowing what you have to do and in controlling your destiny."

On what makes East Carolina a tough team...

"They are a very good football team. We have struggled in the past because of turnovers. I look back on the five games we have played and we have had 15 turnovers in five games, and they have had 13. You can't do that and I tell the players that all of the time. You can't turn it over against teams that have quick strike ability, which they certainly do. Their offense, Dominique Davis, their quarterback, is a very good athlete. He is leading the conference in passing. He makes good throws and is very accurate. They have a couple of receivers, led by Dwayne Harris. He is a very, very good player and I'm sure he is a guy you will see on Sundays playing. He has a knack of making someone miss initially. They are very tough to handle because they are very good in space. I think they get the ball and make someone miss. A four-yard play ends up being an eight, nine, ten-yard play. They have Lance Lewis, the other receiver, who has done a really good job for them. They use both of them very well in their passing scheme. Their running backs are guys who are going to get the yards that they have to get and they roll them around pretty good with Williams and Ruffin. They do a good job of scheming up a defense as far as where to attack it and get things done. The big thing is they have the ability to make big plays. They take quick throws and make big plays out of them. They don't necessarily throw the ball deep a lot, but they throw short and end up being big plays because of missed tackles or athletic ability in space. They are very good in space."

On importance of getting a pass rush with front four defensive linemen and not having to blitz...

"In my experience with linebackers, real good linebackers, they don't like to do it [blitz] cause they sense a problem. I always think that when you have four guys that can rush and can play seven guys in coverage that is the best matchup that you are going to get, unless you rush three. You have to pressure and bring linebackers to get doubles off of your linemen. So many teams today run their linemen sideways, and they're running the linebackers north and south. You are taking your best rushers and running them sideways away from the quarterback. That really has never made any sense to me. The key about any blitzing or dogging is that you do it smart. Don't just call dogs, call dogs that have a chance to come home. That basically is a down and distance thing as far as when you are trying to get someone to throw quickly or whatever. They get rid of the ball fairly quickly. He doesn't hold the ball very long and it is out quick. A lot of the throws are intermediary throws. They make more of the yards when they get the ball in their hands. That is what I have been impressed with."

On importance of stadium attendance at home games...

"It is important. This game is just like Rice. The people there thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were loud. I thought the student body did a great job. Rice was a check team and had to look over [to the sideline] a couple of different times with the noise. It is one thing to get a call from the sideline and it is another to get it to your teammates. This team coming in [East Carolina] is the same. I'm sure they will bring a crowd. They have a great following. Our fans need to be in the seats early and get active in this one because it is going to make a difference, especially when they have the ball, as far as helping us out."

On Ronnie Weaver and his progression...

"He just does a lot of things well. He does not make a lot mistakes back there. He is good in protections and he gets what you need in the running game. Sure there are better running backs around. The key is to judge a person on his ability and what we are getting out of Ronnie Weaver is way above what I thought we would be getting as far as being a running back and getting those necessary yards. He is learning how to be a good running back. He's a great kid. He earned the right for a scholarship and is utilizing it very well. That is what has most impressed me about him."

On role Weaver's mother played in getting him on the team...

"We have a lot parents that I wish would push their son more. She is very involved in her son's success. The only time I have dealt with her is if he doing what he is supposed to be doing on and off the field. That is what she asks. I don't get involved with pep talks between moms and dads. She is very involved with him not just in sports. If he messes up academically, she is on the phone with the academic people. I wish we had more parents like that. That is what is missing in college sports today. Too many kids are doing their own thing. We try to make sure the parents know exactly where they are in all phases. They see the game and what is happening there. Academically we are making sure they are doing the right things. There is a great, great relationship with mom and him [Ronnie]. I have met them all [Weaver's family] and they are really behind him and UCF. That is what I like about them, the Weaver clan. They are not just Ronnie Weaver, they are the whole team. That is what we need more and more of."

Have you ever had a player that started as a walk-on and had such a big role on the team as Weaver?
"I'd have to go back. I'm sure there are some out there. I have too many years. I am big on bringing kids in. They may have been a smile away from getting a scholarship. Who knows why they did not get a scholarship. He came in as a preferred walk-on. I have always looked to those kids. A lot of times you make mistakes on scholarship kids that don't pan out. I have always looked to elevate guys that have earned it. That is what you need to do as a coach. Normally you try to give them a couple of years and stick the program through and try to help them out their junior or senior year if you have room and they can help you win. I'm very aware of those kids and what they are doing on the field. He is one that is doing what he needs to get done and did it a little sooner than most preferred walk-ons."

On L.D. Crow's performance vs. Rice...

"He went out there and the one sack was not his fault. That was on the offensive line. I thought he delivered the ball fairly well and on time and he managed the game for his first time out there. I told him he was in on the next series and I didn't realize it was going to be on the two-yard line. I asked if he took snaps and he said he had taken them and lo-and-behold he fumbles the first snap, but at least he recovered it. He still got us out of the green zone with that 16-yard throw. I was pleased. He went out there and made the throws he had to make. He made a high throw for a touchdown. For not having been on the field he did a very good job as far as his first time out there. If you judge first time appearance I thought he did a good job in really managing the team in the huddle and moving the ball as far as the chains are concerned."

On Crow's reps...

"You need a second quarterback. You have to have that. He is getting reps with the ones and twos. He is getting reps with the first group, and probably this week, as much as Rob [Calabrese] was getting when he was healthy. That is the way it should be. It is Jeff Godfrey's team but there are certain times that you want to make sure when you put that other quarterback in, he is ready to go and can get a win for you or maintain a win. You don't step backwards."

On scoring vs. East Carolina...

"They put a lot of points on the board and I have been impressed with that. Our defense will have to play very steady and have a great understanding of what is in front them. I don't see it being a track meet. I don't think that is the kind of game that we want to get involved in. We score points too, so we can get into one. I like to mix it up and make sure the line of scrimmage is honest."

On players' motivation for the game...

"We practiced well yesterday and Tuesday. They have been in watching tape as they usually do. I don't try to sell one game above any other because we have a bunch of games coming up that are as important as any one else. I think you play one at a time and we don't change that philosophy. That is the only game. We talk about East Carolina now, but the implications are that the winner of that game controls their own destiny as far as how they have to do things as far as the conference is concerned. It is a big game as far as looking at that situation as far as records and who gets to be the driver of that conference."

On the transition of East Carolina to first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill...

"He is a real down to earth guy and a no non-sense guy. He went in there and was left some talent, obviously at the receiver position and the quarterback coming in there as a transfer from Boston College. He has utilized it. They fell right into his offense very, very well in the kind of offense he wanted to use from Texas Tech. They have done a good job and are well coached on the field. They play with great effort. That is something I would expect from him. He is a journeyman. He has coordinated for many years and he understands what it takes to win a game."

On team consistency among games...
"The natural deal was to let down last week. That is why I always talk about you are only as good as your last play. I don't think we finished the game as well as we should have against Rice. That was my message after the game was that we still have not played a full 60 minutes yet. You have teams coming up now that you are going to need to do that to maintain a win. How you do it is through consistency. What I said to them before the game last week was that all I wanted to know was after the game to ask yourself the one question, `Did I do everything I was supposed to do to win this game?' It is a real simple answer, yes or no, and there is not a lot of in between on that. That is what I challenged the kids with after the game last week. I didn't ask them what their answers were but I had an idea of what it would have been. That is why you always keep them working for the next week."

 

 

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