Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the UCF Knights season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 12-1 overall, 8-0 in AAC
Head Coach: Josh Heupel, 12-1
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UCF OFFENSE
– The machine didn’t stop. It wasn’t quite the offense of 2017, but even with the coaching change, and despite the devastating loss of star QB McKenzie Milton late in the year, the O still finished fifth in the nation averaging 523 yards and 43 points per game. With eight starters returning, the fun will continue.
– The quarterback situation is among the nation’s most interesting. Milton is still rehabbing his knee injury, but junior Darriel Mack showed he could handle the work with 619 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 337 rushing yards and six scores when thrown into the fire. Now the 6-3, 230-pounder knows what he’s doing, but he has to hold off Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush. Expect Mack to hang on to the gig … maybe. There’s no real wrong answer.
– The running game should be among the most explosive in college football. There might not be a bruiser, but the home run hitting combination of Greg McCrae and Adrian Killins should combine for close to 2,000 yards, and the quarterbacks will help, too. Also helping the cause …
– The offensive line should be fine with a little bit of work. Losing mainstays Wyatt Miller and Tyler Hudanick off of the left side is a problem, but the three returning starters should be in the mix for All-American Athletic honors.
Jordan Johnson might be the league’s best center, Jake Brown is among the top tackles, and Cole Schneider is an all-star guard. The depth is lacking, but the starting five will be fantastic.
– The receiving corps loses a few parts, but leading pass catcher Gabriel Davis is back after catching 53 passes for 815 yards and seven scores, and Tre Nixon is a baller who can stretch the field. Watch out for the tight ends, with good size and a few options with 6-7 former Wisconsin Badger Jake Hescock and former Notre Damer Jonathon MacCollister combining for the gig.