2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 75 UCF Knights
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the UCF Knights
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No. 75: UCF Knights
UCF Knights Prespring Status
Scott Frost got a whole lot of credit in his first season taking an 0-12 program to six wins and a bowl game, but the Knights lost their last three games, finishing by inexplicably clunking to Arkansas State in what amounted to a home bowl. The offense couldn’t really move the ball, but the defense was stellar until those last three games. Now the tone is set to start looking like UCF is supposed to as a threat in the American Athletic race.
Fortunately for Frost, he’s got a team loaded with veterans on that struggling offense. Nine starters are back, there’s a good group of reserves to choose from, and the production should be far better, but …
UCF Knights Biggest Issue
The defense that was so strong last year has to undergo an overhaul. Seven starters are gone including the entire secondary and three main men in the linebacking corps including top tackler Mark Rucker. Five of the top six tacklers and seven of the top nine are gone.
UCF Knights Biggest Positive
Again, everyone of note returns on offense. RB Dontravious Wilson might be finished, but Jawon Hamilton led the team – even if it was with just 495 yards. This was a really, really young group, with four of the top five rushers underclassmen, including QB McKenzie Milton, who showed just enough promise to hope the passing game might start to work. Seven of the top eight receivers are back.
Really, Why Are The UCF Knights Ranked Here?
Frost only had one year to work, and he and the staff showed what could happen with a little injection of youth and energy. The needle is pointing up, but the Knights need a whole lot of big things to happen defensively at several key positions, and the offense has to be night-and-day more effective after averaging just 351 yards per game.