2018 Football Preview – AAC – UCF Knights
Looking for 2018 UCF Knights predictions? The Knights had an unexpectedly amazing year last year…including a “National Championship”. They lost their coach but there is still a lot in place for them to succeed at a high level. It would be surprising if they are part of the national story once against but a conference title is definitely within reach.
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2018-18 College Football Preview – UCF Knights
Head Coach: Josh Heupel
2015 Record: 13-0
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds to win the 2018 FBS Championship: 100/1
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Everything went right a year ago and now they have to deal with the fallout. I like this group to keep the good times rolling in Orlando.
2018 UCF Knights Predictions: Team Strengths
Don’t Mess with a Good Thing: UCF had the top scoring offense in the nation a year ago averaging 48ppg. Even though they are experiencing a leadership at the top do not expect the philosophy to change – Josh Heupel a former quarterback is all about offense.
Speaking of QBs McKenzie Milton returns after throwing for more than 4000 yards last season. He might not be a pro prospect position due to his size but he was electric last year and seemed to always make the right reads.
They lose their top receiver from a year ago but they have a deep pool of speedy athletic players who are read to step up.
Also, look for RB Adrian Killins to be more involved in the passing attack. Yes he is their top rusher too but he can be electric when playing in space. .
Senior Stars on D: The Knights have returning stars at all levels of the defense. Trysten Hill is impossible to move up front at 6-2 and 330 pounds.
Behind him is inside linebacker Pat Jasinski who led the team with 104 tackles a year ago. Though not the fastest he is just always around the ball and is as sure a tackler as there is on the team.
Kyle Gibson leads a secondary that is probably the best in the AAC. He has run a 4.42 and is indicative of the kind of low profile super athletic kids that dot the Knights defense.
2018 UCF Knights Predictions: Team Weaknesses
New Direction?: Josh Heupel has never been a head coach before so there has to be question marks.
The fact that he is taking over a team coming off a perfect season and is going to be his own offensive coordinator only intensify the scrutiny in year one.
The hire seems solid but we really won’t know until the games start coming. I do believe the offense will continue at a high level and any dropoff of the team overall might just be organic…are we really expecting back to back perfect seasons.
The Knights do lose a defensive difference maker and inspirational leader in Shaquem Griffen.
He provided the pass rush but even with that the pass defense numbers were not very good. It is tough to know in the abstract but some of those might have been a result of the Knights essentially playing with the lead all season long. .
In a general way you have to wonder how this group will handle adversity and the fact that they beat up a lot of teams that are going to be looking for some revenge this season.
UCF Knights Prediction: 9-3
Last year the Knights were undefeated and no game was closer than 7 points. Repeating that will be difficult.
In the non-conference I am kind of excited to see them host FAU in late September, maybe they combine for 120+ points. Other non conference tilts are winnable though a trip to ACC country to take on North Carolina will show us something.
They have to travel to Memphis this season, a team they beat twice last year including in overtime in the AAC title game. That could be a loss and so might be a trip to South Florida to close the season. Another team they nipped last season.
I see the Knights getting back to the AAC title game, even in this transition year, but they will drop a few games along the way. I do like their upside though.
2018 UCF Knights Football Schedule
- 8/30/18 TBD @Connecticut
- 9/8/18 6:00 PM ET South Carolina State
- 9/15/18 12:00 PM ET @North Carolina
- 9/21/18 7:00 PM ET Florida Atlantic
- 9/29/18 TBD Pittsburgh
- 10/6/18 TBD SMU
- 10/13/18 TBD @Memphis
- 10/20/18 TBD @East Carolina
- 11/1/18 TBD Temple
- 11/10/18 TBD Navy
- 11/17/18 TBD Cincinnati
- 11/23/18 TBD @USF
What do you think about our 2018 UCF Knights predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2018!
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