Tommy West Press Luncheon Quotes, November 17, 2008
Nov. 17, 2008
"I thought we had a good week last week. We didn't get outside one day, but I thought it was still productive. Open dates are a little bit different at this time of year because you just want to keep your timing. These open dates have been really good for us because of injuries, but a negative because we've been playing well. What I don't want is for this to break our momentum. We worked our timing, we have a plan in, we practiced well yesterday and we feel good about having them back and ready to go."
Regarding quarterback Arkelon Hall and whether he will play Saturday
"Arkelon has practiced and has done pretty well. He has a splint on his thumb and he is throwing the ball pretty well. He just has to keep improving as this week goes along and I anticipate that he will. I anticipate that he will play in this game. I really want to wait and see where he is. I really want to get his splint off tomorrow and see him grip the ball and throw it without the splint. I really think that the health of that hand will obviously determine his role in the game. If he is 100 percent, he will start the game He was our starting quarterback and I'm not going to penalize him for getting hurt. We won't be able to play offensively in this game with wounded people. These guys (UCF) are outstanding on defense. They are really, really good on defense. That's why they're leading their league defensively. We're going to have to be hitting on all cylinders offensively this game."
What did Arkelon feel like his role was while he was on the sideline?
"At SMU, he really wanted to go in that game at halftime for the second half. I think he realized how much it means to him to be the quarterback."
Would he (Arkelon) play with splint?
"He has been throwing the ball decently with the splint. He has to be able to throw it a little bit better than what he is throwing it with the splint on. He's throwing it okay with the splint, but I mean that I'm encouraged that he is throwing the ball as well as he is with the splint on. It's not to be confused with throwing it great. The bone in his thumb should be fine. It's a matter of if he can grip the ball and do those things. We'll know more tomorrow. I'm really optimistic that he will play in the game."
Will Brett Toney take a significant amount of snaps at QB in this game?
"Oh yes, absolutely. He may be the guy to play the entire game, but I don't know. I'm not trying to make it a mystery to anybody, I'm just trying to be honest about it. I think Arkelon will play, but he will have to be hitting or he'll have worse than a thumb hurting if he's not at full tilt. UCF's record may not be very good, but all you have to do is look at those stats and see that their defense is outstanding."
What do you think is the reason that UCF has slid down to the bottom of the league recently when they had such a great season last year?
"I think the biggest difference from a year ago is the running back. They had a great back a year ago. We went through the same thing when our guy (DeAngelo Williams) left; we won two the next year. You have to get adjusted to life without your great player."
"When you look at these guys, they are as good as they have been on defense. They were really good on defense a year ago, and they didn't get the credit they deserved on defense a year ago and they have nine back this year off that defense. They have four secondary guys that started for four years. I would venture to say that all four will get a chance to play in the NFL. Up front, their nose guard is probably their best lineman. Their two ends are playing really solid. They're just playing really well on defense."
"Offensively they've struggled because they're trying to find an identity with what they do. They are playing a freshman at quarterback, their running back is a true freshman because we tried to recruit him. They have some young guys and they have struggled offensively."