Publish date:

17 UCF

Author:

OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE

Everyone talks about quarterback McKenzie Milton's arm—and he's got a big one—but he can also run. He won't take over a game, but he's just fast enough to take off and get a first down. The guy threw for 242 yards and two TDs against a good Auburn D in the Peach Bowl. He's for real.... The line wasn't great last year, but it's not like the league is known for offensive line play.... ADRIAN KILLINS is tiny [5'8", 158 pounds], but he is holy s--- fast. If he's not the fastest player we saw last year, he's definitely the fastest running back. If he gets the ball in space, it's a huge problem.... We don't know exactly what the new offense will look like with Scott Frost gone to Nebraska, but we know it won't look the same, since not many people know that Chip Kelly--tree offense. Josh Heupel had a good offense last year as the coordinator at Missouri, but Milton and [Drew] Lock are different QBs.... The biggest thing is trying to figure out how to replace Shaquem Griffin at LB. He was amazing, could rush the QB and could cover receivers. Pat Jasinski makes a bunch of tackles on the inside, and Titus Davis made plays on the other side of Griffin, but neither one is Griffin.

BY THE NUMBERS

0

FBS teams, other than Central Florida, that finished last season undefeated.

37

TD passes thrown by McKenzie Milton in '17, second most among returning FBS QBs.

5-YEAR TREND

WINS

Scott Frost is gone, but with 14 starters returning to a UCF team that went undefeated last season, there's no drop-off coming for the Golden Knights.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

15

12

9

6

3

9-4

0-12

6-7

13-0

11-1

YEAR

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018*

* SI PROJECTION

X-FACTOR

In 2016, Scott Frost took over a UCF program that had just gone 0--12. Two seasons later he left a program that had just gone 13--0. Needless to say, Frost's replacement, 40-year-old JOSH HEUPEL, will face a different set of challenges. "It's like my wife said: All you've got to do is win 14," Heupel jokes. The rookie coach has this in his favor: his time at Oklahoma, both as a quarterback and as an assistant for nine years, give him a solid introduction to sky-high expectations. And there's Milton McKenzie, as talented as the best signal-callers Heupel worked with in Norman. (See Bradford, Sam; Jones, Landry.) UCF is in good hands with Heupel leading the way.

2018 SCHEDULE

THURS., AUG. 30

@ CONNECTICUT

SEPT. 8

SO. CAROLINA ST.

SEPT. 15

@ NO. CAROLINA

FRI., SEPT. 21

FLA. ATLANTIC

SEPT. 29

PITTSBURGH

OCT. 6

SOUTHERN METHODIST

OCT. 13

@ MEMPHIS [KEY MATCHUP]

OCT. 20

@ E. CAROLINA

THURS., NOV. 1

TEMPLE

NOV. 10

NAVY

NOV. 17

CINCINNATI

FRI., NOV. 23

@ SO. FLORIDA [BIGGEST GAME]

KEY MATCHUP

BIGGEST GAME

SI RANKINGS