Nov. 3, 2009
S Blake Gideon
On his interception return against Oklahoma State: The guys on the sideline, Earl and Curtis were telling me that someone else had to get in on the act. That was the only thing I was thinking about after I caught it.
On the 11 a.m. game time: That will make it about a 6:30 wake up and probably 7:00 pregame meal and everything. Coach Brown has told us that this week we probably need to wake up at 6:30 or 7 every day and start moving around and get things rolling so we can get ready for the next two weeks.
On playing on punt return team: I think teams take it very seriously. You can tell that they’ve been coached up well throughout the week. Whenever we come up to the line they’re pointing out who they have, who they’re blocking. We don’t let teams relax against us on punt team. That’s not a down off. Most of the time that’s how we catch people, when guys use it as a down off. Oklahoma State is a great example. They would block us and hightail it down the field.
On being consistent: Whenever we have to watch it we have to be accountable in front of the team for what we did, for what we put on tape. You want to be proud of that. I think we did that. We could all feel proud of our work, and at the same time we know that greatness is in consistency. It’s not just one or two week spurts. Knowing that we started out with 6 a.m. meetings this morning, and we’re looking forward to having another big week.
RB Fozzy Whittaker
On if family military ties come up in conversation between players: Every now and then the discussion will come up. I know Uli (Adam Ulatoski)’s brother had been over there also, and every now and then we would discuss about things that may have been going on in our brother’s lives, and talking about hopefully the war will be able to be done and our brothers can come back home.
On carrying the American flag before the game: It’s a big honor to basically show our patriotism through our brothers.
On the offense’s improvement: I feel like we’ve had a better focus on getting the things that we messed up the previous week rolling, and picking it up more as a team and demanding more out of ourselves.
On the relationship between all of the running backs: That’s how it is in the running backs room. Coach Applewhite is a laid back guy, but also he wants us to work hard. That’s our main focus and goal, but any time that we have a chance to hang out and chill with each other, we all hang out and have fun. It’s a great atmosphere and a great feeling that all of my running backs are brothers with me and we can have fun when it’s not business time.
On getting in a rhythm when the running backs share carries: When your time is called, you have to produce and help the team out any way you can. That’s all we look at.
DE Sam Acho
On the early start this week: Usually most of our games are at 6:00 or 7:00 (p.m.), but now we’ve got an early game so we need all the fans to come early, be loud and everything. It’s going to be a little different getting up a little earlier. Coach Brown has challenged everybody to get up early this week in preparation so we’ll be ready for the difference in time.
On the turnovers the defense has forced this season: I don’t know if it’s talent or effort or what. We’ve gotten a lot of turnovers this year, interceptions, forced fumbles, fourth-down stops. You look at guys like Earl Thomas and Curtis Brown picking off passes and running them back. It really helps us a lot.
On the competition between him and his brother Emmanuel to see who can recover more fumbles: It’s kind of a joke between us right now. We’re competing a little bit now to see who can get more. I finally forced one, he already has two or three forced fumbles so I’m trying to catch up to him in that category. It’s fun forcing turnovers. We had four picks last week; two of them were run back for touchdowns. Being able to escort somebody into the end zone is even more fun, honestly, than forcing a fumble. It’s a lot of fun.
On the team’s nine non-offensive touchdowns this season: It’s always helpful to be able to score on offense, defense and special teams. The defense has done a good job of scoring, whether it’s an interception return or a fumble return. Special teams, you look at Jordan Shipley, he’s run back two punts, and D.J. Monroe has run back two kick returns. We’ve gotten some blocked punts that we’ve recovered in the end zone. It’s great. It goes back to the whole, offense, defense and special teams, playing together.
On entering the third season this week: It’s definitely a test of our maturity. We play at 11:00 this week, 11:00 next week, and there’s only a five-day rest between Kansas and A&M. It’s definitely going to be a test of our maturity. I think we’ve just got do a great job of staying focused and getting used to that little change. I think it’s going to be fun regardless of what time we play. We’re all ready.
RB Cody Johnson
On his relationship with RB Fozzy Whittaker: When we first got here our freshman year we were calling each other Thunder and Lightning. He always had the speed, I always had the physicality. When he goes in he brings the speed to the game, when I get in I bring the power.
On the team’s chemistry: Our whole running back room is pretty close, and the team is too. Since I’ve been here this is the closest we’ve ever been.
On his weight loss for this season: Coming in at 260 pounds and trying to play running back was not happening. I couldn’t make cuts I needed, I couldn’t see the holes well, my hips were horrible. I dropped like 20 pounds and now I’m at 240 or 245. Now I can make the cuts that I need and have the breakaway speed.
On his attitude on the field: I try to stay happy and blow people up as much as possible. People are going to feed off of that. It’s a contact sport; you’ve got to love contact if you’re going to play.
On his playing style: I’m a power back. I can move the pile. I can run with it too, but I think my specialty is running people over and getting extra yards.
On UCF’s ninth-ranked rush defense: I think it’s going to be a good challenge for us with them being ranked highly in rush defense. We need to come prepared and block well.