On the heels of a spirited three quarters of play against #5 Ohio State, Coach Lane Kiffin praised his team's effort. On Sunday, he held his weekly press teleconference while looking ahead to the second straight ranked opponent for the Owls - #17 Central Florida. Below are the highlights from that session.
On if the team would stay in Boca Raton and practicing
If they closed the dorms that was going to cause a housing issue and the potential of us having to go somewhere. We had planned on going to Tampa, practicing at the Bucs facility, but it looks like we are not going to do that as of now (Sunday evening). We can stay here and the conditions with the rain probably won't allow us to practice so we would head down to the Dolphins' indoor facility, if we are able to do that as far as not being so bad that we can't even drive around. Just playing it by ear as we get more information.
On the Ohio State Game
Back to the game. We obviously started off very poor. (The score was) 28-nothing halfway through the first, no first downs, then after that we played 21-17 in our favor. Obviously, we didn't win the game by any means, but at least it showed our players that when they do things right, they have a chance to hang in there with a top five team in America, so that part was good.
BJ Emmons, I think, broke his ankle. That is obviously very discouraging. He has battled so long to get back to this level, and he only had one carry. He is obviously struggling. I feel really bad for him.
Have you been given a deadline on when the decision will be made if you are not playing Saturday?
We have not discussed, at all, not playing Saturday. All the things I have been told, it will be out of here by then. Supposedly it is supposed to hit us, but not nearly as bad as they initially thought, which is why initially they would have closed the dorms with the wind and stuff. It is supposed to be manageable hopefully.
What were your big takeaways with Chris Robison's outing?
I thought physically, Chris played well. He was very accurate with the ball. He suffered some really crucial drops. Three drops in those first three drives that could have made first downs. I think mentally he could have done some things better, but I thought physically, especially for that environment and against those players, he threw the ball well.
As you look at UCF, especially after playing them last year, is that the program that your program aspires to be?
For us it is like we are playing another SEC or Big Ten team, an upper-tier team two weeks in a row. Because they have players like those guys. They have won as many games as anybody in the last couple of years in the country.
What do they do well? What do you like about them?
They score a million points. They just had 44 first downs in one game, that is hard to do on air if there was no team out there. And, they are obviously really explosive, 52-nothing. They can get on top of you really fast. You are hanging with them or even ahead of them … then all of the sudden you look up and you are down two or three scores.
Was there anything different in the way the guys responded in the second half offensively (against OSU), as opposed to last year?
I think we had a much better feeling after the game than after the opener a year ago. (Saturday) was more like Wisconsin, where we got off to a slow start and then settled down and did some good things. I didn't think we defensively we did anything well in the opener a year ago. At least after the first eight minutes (Saturday), we settled down and played three and a half quarters of good football and gave up what, 17 points.
Have you given any thought to the importance of this UCF game being at home, potentially being a packed house, the importance of the game in and of itself to the campus, to the university, to the program?
I have not. It is the next game. It is a top-10-type opponent, and just like a week ago we are going to have to do everything (right) to give ourselves a shot to win this game.
Does UCF have the type of speed that Ohio State does? Maybe not Ohio State, but are they a level above the speed of the teams you will see the rest of the year?
Offensively, these guys have the speed that Ohio State does, that anybody does. That is what they've done. They put up more points and more yards than anyone in the country over the last three years. Great skilled players, and like I said, I looked over once a year ago and I remember talking with Coach (Josh Heupel) and was like, wow you guys look like an SEC team over there.
Any reason for putting (Justin) Agner in late instead of (Nick) Tronti? What did you like and what did you dislike in his one drive?
We put him in because he is our second quarterback and Tronti is third. I just felt like getting him some playing experience. Also, at that point, we were not going to win the game, so why risk getting Chris hurt. He started off smooth, made a couple of throws and then made a really bad throw which was disappointing to see.
BJ Emmons – Is that likely season-ending or could he possibly be back the last few weeks of the season?
I don't know. I would guess it would be season-ending, but I don't know that.