Coming off an undefeated season and a Peach Bowl win, the Knights are primed for yet another breakout year in the AAC.
UCF has had an off-season for the books, making a case for a National Championship as the Knights went undefeated including an impressive 34-27 win over the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl. The Knights had a season of highs going 13-0, winning the AAC, and a massive New Year Six Bowl win.
UCF will look to replace former Head Coach Scott Frost, who left the Knights for Nebraska where Frost was the starting quarterback back in late 1990’s. Frost led the Cornhuskers to an impressive 13-0 record and win in the Orange Bowl to claim a National Championship over the Tennessee Volunteers. UCF also lost standout Shaquem Griffin who was a complete monster for the Knights, leading the team in tackles last season with an impressive 74 tackles on the season. Griffin was drafted in the 5th round to the Seahawks.
The Knights return a lot of offensive firepower from last year’s number one ranked total offense team. Can Milton returns to lead the UCF Knights offense to new heights? Milton is a Heisman sleeper according to many after leading the Knights to 4,650 yards and 47 touchdowns as a Dual-Threat QB. UCF should keep rolling on all cylinders into 2018 after averaging 48 points a game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the future looks bright for the Knights despite losing Griffin. Pat Jasinski and Alabama transfer Shawn Burgress-Becker will lead the charge for UCF. Jaskinski played a massive role in the undefeated season for UCF.
UCF will also be under first-year head coach Josh Heupel who previously served as the offensive coordinator at Missouri, where his Tiger teams were as high flying as the Knights. UCF fans should be very excited about the upcoming future under Heupel.
One thing UCF fans have posted a question to this off-season is the strength of schedule for the Knights. After being left out of the College Football Playoffs last season, that question is one of the reason for UCF to be concerned about. In order to compete with the big boys of the world, you have to play the big boys to prove that you belong. With that being said UCF has a few big-time games this season including a huge conference matchup on the road. UCF will travel to Memphis on October 13th for a massive AAC game. The Knights will also travel to North Carolina to play the Tar Heels before returning home to face the Pittsburgh Panthers in Orlando. In order to have a shot at the playoff’s, UCF must win all three of those games.
When the dust of the off-season settles, one thing is for certain, UCF will be primed for another breakout year in Orlando. The Knights have the parts to make a run at a New Year Six bowl game and more than likely a back to back championship in the AAC.