UCF looks to build on last season’s success
Central Florida coach George O’Leary says the Knights are not
resting on the laurels of the best football season in school
The defending Conference USA champions won a program-best 11
games in 2010, capped by an eye-opening 10-6 victory over Georgia
in the Liberty Bowl.
This year’s schedule features early nonconference games at home
against Boston College and on the road at Brigham Young. Those
dates will give sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey greater
exposure, and winning both could thrust the entire program into the
O’Leary is beginning his eighth season at UCF. He likes the
heightened expectations that come with winning the Knight’s second
conference title in four years and finishing with a bowl victory
for the first time.
”I’d rather be where we’re sitting now than where we were when
we got here,” O’Leary, who went 0-11 in his first season with the
Knights in 2004, said Friday during the team’s preseason media
”I think expectation levels are higher. I think the team has to
react to that. I know the coaches do,” the coach said, adding he’d
rather have fans excited about the prospect of another conference
title and perhaps even a shot at a BCS bowl berth, rather than
entering the season ”hoping and wishing that things happen
Godfrey was one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks as
a freshman, throwing for 2,159 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing
for 566 yards and 10 TDs after beginning the season as a reserve.
The Knights also return three running backs who ran for more than
600 yards last season, including 1,000-yard rusher Brynn
The tailbacks have a nose for the end zone, too, with Harvey
scoring 14 TDs rushing and Ronnie Weaver and Latavius Murray each
scoring 11 TDs.
While the Knights lost some key players from one of Conference
USA’s top defenses, O’Leary is confident he has capable
replacements. With Godfrey a year older, the coach thinks the
offense will be better, too.
The coach said one topic he discussed with players when the team
convened to begin preparation for the Sept. 3 season opener against
Charleston Southern was the need to focus on what’s ahead – not the
impressive way the Knights finished last season by winning nine of
their last 10 games.
”We need to move from that victory in the Liberty Bowl. I told
them it’s a new year, a new season and you’re going to be judged by
what’s done this year, not last year,” O’Leary said. ”But I do
think it helps from a confidence level, just that if they do things
right, good things can happen.”