2016-17 Football Previews – (AAC) – Knights
Looking for 2016 UCF Knights predictions? The history of UCF football does not go back all that far but last year was their worst season in history. They went 0-12, eclipsing their 0-11 record of 2004 (they were in the MAC for some reason back then), ironically now gone George O’Leary’s first season at coach. In fairness, O’Leary has also overseen the greatest highs this program has ever known – a 12-1 season, #10 final ranking and Fiesta Bowl win in 2013.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – UCF Knights
2015/16 Record: 0-12
Head Coach: Scott Frost
Odds to win AAC: +7500
Odds to win National Championship: Field
Win Total: 5
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The fact that anyone thinks you can win at UCF is largely due to his past success.
The Knights are pinning their future hopes on new head coach Scott Frost, who will try and reinvigorate the program using all he learned at Oregon, not to mention a winning collegiate career at Nebraska.
An improvement over zero wins of last year seems inevitable but how much can really be expected in 2016?
One thing for sure if that the team will look different in every conceivable way.
Frost has worked his Oregon/Nike connections so that the Knights will enjoy some sweet looks down on the field. Even if the action is bad the fans should get a show.
UCF Knights Predictions: Team Strengths
Things will definitely be different in Orlando this season. They are looking to mimic the offense of the Ducks and have at least a couple of things going for them as they attempt to do so.
The first is senior quarterback Justin Holman, who has a big arm and is more than athletic enough to make plays with his feet.
The other is receiver Tre’Quan Smith, he was the AAC Freshman Offensive Player of the Year last season.
If/when the Knights figure out this new offense it looks like they have enough skill talent to make it go.
Also , not to be overlooked is the fact that four offensive linemen return.
As Frost looks to crank up the pace it helps to have that experience up front, even if they are being asked to forget everything they have learnt so to speak.
Defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman is solid in the middle of that defense. For that position he is able to put heat on the quarterback – he led the team in sacks a year ago.
UCF Knights Predictions: Team Weaknesses
There’s is always a period of adjustment when a new head coach takes over.
The change is going to be exponential for UCF this season but there is a lot of optimism for where this program can go considering the size of the school and the location in Florida.
Both the offense and defense were terrible last season. The offense might have some advantages because of their new schemes but on defense they just have to be better.
There is not a lot of bulk in this unit especially in the front seven.
If the offense is not productive it will be a lot of quick drives that will expose this group even more, which could make some games look like complete disasters.
Even under ideal circumstances this group is likely to be pushed around a lot.
UCF Knights Prediction:
The Knights had a couple of one point losses early in the season last year and then the year totally got away from them.
Rebounding from such a disaster is not going to be easy but by essentially changing as much as possible over the course of just one offseason there will be a lot more optimism, and as long as they get a couple of wins they should be able to stay the course.
I do see those 5 wins as a little ambitious though. The road schedule is no picnic and home games against Temple and Cincinnati will depend on how quickly things come together.
The key game for me is in week three against Maryland. The Terps are not good, but they are a Power 5 team and if the team is able to get the win at home maybe they can build off that confidence and be more of a player the rest of the way in the AAC.
The week before at Michigan could be a bloodbath.
Tread carefully with UCF this season. They used to be a plucky underdog but now they are a huge unknown.
2016 UCF Knights Football Schedule
- 3/16 7:00 PM ET SCST
- 9/10/16 12:00 PM ET @MICH
- 9/17/16 7:00 PM ET MD
- 9/24/16 7:00 PM ET @FIU
- 10/1/16 TBD @ECU
- 10/7/16 8:00 PM ET TULN
- 10/15/16 TBD TEM
- 10/22/16 TBD @CONN
- 10/29/16 TBD @HOU
- 11/12/16 TBD CIN
- 11/19/16 TBD TLSA
- 11/26/16 TBD @USF
What do you think about our 2016 UCF Knights predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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