Best UCF Offensive Player
QB McKenzie Milton, Jr.
Baker Mayfield put together an all-timer of an efficient season, averaging an ungodly 11.5 yards per throw with a 198.92 rating. Only two other quarterbacks averaged more than ten yards per pass, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, and Milton, who was the nation’s second-most efficient passer hitting 67% of his throws for 4,037 yards and 37 scores and nine picks.
Like Mayfield, Milton isn’t all that big – at just 5-11 and 185 pounds – but he can spread the ball around, he can push the deep passes, and he can run, too. He wasn’t always perfect – he did complete just 46% of his passes against Auburn and struggled against Maryland, the two Power Five schools on the slate – but he finished the season unbeaten. Mayfield didn’t.
2. C Jordan Johnson, Jr.
3. RB Adrian Killins, Jr.
4. OT Wyatt Miller, Sr.
5. WR Dedrick Snelson, Jr.
Best UCF Defensive Player
S Kyle Gibson, Sr.
The 5-11, 182-pound safety was excellent in pass coverage, came up with four interceptions, and spread out 64 tackles in his all-star season. He’s fast, can play corner if needed, and he’s a sure tackler who can bring a little thump. He can get behind the line if needed, too. He’ll be the leader of a solid, veteran secondary that needs to shine if the pass rush isn’t as consistent as it needs to be.
2. DT Trysten Hill, Jr.
3. LB Pat Jasinski, Sr.
4. S Tre Neal, Sr.
5. LB Titus Davis, Sr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
OT Jake Brown, Jr.
Is he really a full-time tackle? The 6-3, 305-pounder was put out there in the Peach Bowl win, but he’s mostly been a guard. Wyatt Miller was an all-star on the right side, but he might end up moving to the left. Either way, Brown is likely going to be one of the starters on the outside for a line that was fantastic in pass protection. Obviously, the less McKenzie Milton gets hit, the better.
Key Game To The UCF Season
at North Carolina, Sept. 15
Okay, so it’s really the regular-season finale at South Florida, but for the team’s attitude and confidence, the UNC game will be the kickstart.
There won’t be any problems with South Carolina State, and there’s an issue at an entirely different level if the Knights lose the opener at UConn. The trip to North Carolina is one of those key chances the program has to once again show it can do more than just hang with the Power Five teams – and do it on the road.
Win in Chapel Hill, take down the showdown against Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic a week later – you can NOT lose that, Josh Heupel – and beat Pitt in Orlando, and all of a sudden, the hype will start to build again.
2017 UCF Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: UCF 155 – Opponents 68
– Fumbles: Opponents 17 (lost 12) – UCF 10 (lost 6)
– Interceptions Thrown: Opponents 20 – UCF 9