Week off allows for players to heal, prepare for matchup with Missouri Tigers
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 16:09
Three games in and the Knights (2-1) are about ready for a break.
After playing two of its first three games in the state of Ohio and earning a 2-1 record, UCF has a bye week this weekend.
For head coach George O’Leary, it is about time.
“We’ve had three games under our belt and we’re nicked up a little bit from three games there, plus all preseason without a break. … it’ll be good to get them in and give them a little bit [of rest],” O’Leary said following his team’s 33-20 win over FIU.
One of the “nicked up” players O’Leary may be referring to is running back Latavius Murray.
Murray suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the first half of the Knights’ 56-14 win over Akron, a game in which he started.
The bye week may be coming at the perfect time during Murray’s recovery, O’Leary said.
“Talking to the doctors yesterday, instead of week-to-week, he’s day-to-day,” O’Leary told 1080-AM radio host David Baumann on Tuesday. “Hopefully he’ll get some practice time on Friday this week. We’ll make a decision after seeing how he’s running around, see how he takes a hit and take it from there.
“The most important thing, which I told the doctor, is I don’t want to bring him back unless he’s fully recovered; not make a decision based on emotion and have him reinjure anything.
“It’s their call. It’s not my call, whether he helps us out or not. I want to know by Sunday of next week if he’s in the game plan or not.”
The return of Murray to the starting lineup could give the Knights a boost heading into the their matchup with Missouri (2-1) on Sept. 29.
“I think bye weeks, you get a little bit of time off but you also get time to get ready for the next game, which is Missouri, so hopefully we can come out and play Missouri tough at home,” redshirt sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles said.
The team is scheduled to play the SEC newcomers at noon on Fox Sports Net and will take its week off to prepare for the home matchup.
“It’s a good time to rest up, but like I said, we have to get better on this bye week, we just can’t relax,” junior wide receiver Jeff Godfrey said. “We have a big game coming up against Missouri and we have to get better.”