A capsule look at James Franklin's weekly news conference:
Opponent: Central Florida
Kickoff: Saturday 8:30 a.m., Dublin, Ireland
About the Knights: They went 12-1 last year and finished season ranked No. 10 after a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor; only loss was to South Carolina; O'Leary won first BCS bowl game of his career; were led by QB Blake Bortles, who wound up being No. 3 pick in NFL draft; not only is Bortles gone, but also standout RB Storm Johnson; redshirt freshman QB Pete DiNovo takes over as starter, and team has three of its top four receivers back; defense returns nine starters.
Last time vs. Penn State: UCF won, 34-31, at Beaver Stadium last season. Few knew how good Bortles was at the time, and he was fantastic, going 20-of-27 for 288 yards and three TDs.
Line: A true pick 'em game as some outlets have PSU as a 1-point favorite, while others have UCF favored by 1; over/under 48
For starters: Many coaches just make a brief opening statement, then take questions from the media. Franklin opened his first game-week news conference by giving a detailed five-minute scouting report of UCF, going over names, stats, how the team did last year and number of returning starters. He said of the game, "I think it's going to be a tremendous challenge."
Time to play ball: Like all coaches, the opener is an exciting time for Franklin to finally get to see all the hard work pay off. "It's game week. It's finally here. I know everybody's excited," he said.
His demeanor: The coach called himself "a nervous wreck before games in terms of preparation," but that's during the week. By the time the game itself rolls around, he's calm. "Once the game comes, I'm pretty confident because I know we've done everything we possibly can do to be prepared for the game," he said. "Now it's just an opportunity to go out and watch the kids play and have fun, and that's what I want them to do."
Not a big talker: Franklin said he's "not a big pregame speech guy" and added, "I feel like if you have to get them fired up 15 minutes before they run on the field, you've got problems." The way he sees it, he gives his pregame speech Sunday through Friday, telling the players "all the things we're going to need to do to be successful."?Not overly sentimental: He's been a coach for a long time, and a head coach for three years, but it would be understandable if Franklin has some sentimental feelings for his first game as PSU's head coach. He didn't let on about that, however. "I had that experience at the press conference and then walking into the stadium with my family for the first time," he said. "I haven't really experienced that since." He said he usually sleeps well the night before a game, then has some nervous anxiety and butterflies in the locker room before calming down.
Best and worst: The best part about playing in Ireland, the coach said, is that he has family that lives in England that will be coming to the game. He hasn't seen them in more than 15 years. The worst part? "There are no bad parts," he said. "It's awesome."