O'Brien: UCF a 'really good' defensive team

RALEIGH -- Head coach Tom O'Brien addressed the media on Monday afternoon, discussing the team's upcoming game with Central Florida.

Tom O'Brien Press Conference
"Central Florida is the first of nine teams that played in bowl games last year that we have on our schedule. Last year they had the fourth-best rush defense in the country and they are the preseason pick, I think, to win their conference."

"They are a really good defensive football team. Which is George [O'Leary's] strength and always has been."

"It's a big, strong, powerfull offensive line and they like to run the football. The one thing that is new for them this year offensively is that they ran some option, so we'll be ready for some option defensively on Saturday night."

"We kept it simple, ran some power football early just to get them hit and get their nose bloody a little bit. It got much better as the game wore on. That's going to be a work in progress."

"We'll see how much we get out of Mattes this week. I don't anticipate him being able to play this week but you never know. He holds a lot to where that line is going to be moving forward. Hopefully he'll be back in two or three weeks, whatever it is."

"The only thing we did is he finally put shoulder pads on for the first time. I took him during practice and ran some individual drills against some of the scout team guys. Not much, very very little. We want to take it one thing at the time because the most important thing is how he wakes up the next morning.

"We'll see how the knee does react. When you start getting in pile-ups and start pushing and tugging the way offensively lineman do, it takes a different toll on your knee."

"The thing about the running game is that the longer you stick with it the better chance you get to wear people out. Our depth took over in the second half."

"I wasn't dissatisfied with what [the offensive line's] effort was and how they were coming off the ball. As I said it was all new to them out there. They will get better the longer they play together and get used to each other. The backs will be better as they see holes and see the cuts and understand."

"Well, we'll see. [The three players withheld Saturday] are on the depth chart and they'll go through a week of practice, then make that determination as we go along."

"He didn't have a lot of opportunities. He didn't play to what level we expect him to play. As the game unfolded, Audie Cole was the same way, he had no tackles but there was never any ball run outside the tackle box but I think twice the whole – or a pass thrown out in the flat."

"[Green], Amerson and Dantae played great on special teams. In fact in the end, as I said in the team meeting today that Amerson's gotta wake up because they started double-teaming him at the end and getting blind-sided. People are going to start picking him off because they aren't going to let him do it, which means that other guys have to get down there. Both Gentry's were great on special teams too – we have five guys that will make tremendous improvement over what we had a year ago."

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