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Schedule and Odds
It's going to take a lot for UCF to top last year's 10 wins, but that's what usually happens when you join a new conference. The Knights dominated the C-USA last year with Tulsa, but now find themselves in the middle of the American Athletic Conference. They return about half of their starters, but most importantly quarterback Blake Bortles will once again be leading the team.
Bortles led the offense to 35 points per game last year while he put up 3,059 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. Not to mention he ran in eight more TDs. He has plenty of help returning with J.J. Worton and Jeff Godfrey in the receiving game that combined for 83 receptions and 1,023 yards. The problem will be in the running game where Latavius Murray (1,106 yards) is gone. Storm Johnson will take over in Murray's spot, but he actually averaged one yard less per carry even with 80 less carries. Johnson will need to be just as effective as Murray was for this offense to compete in a better conference.
Whereas the offense has plenty of firepower, the defense could be a problem with only five returning starters. Each unit is losing major contributors, but fortunately two key players are returning in linebacker Terrance Plummer (108 tackles) and safety Clayton Geathers (117 tackles). When faced with tougher competition last year, the Knights were unable to get the job done. That will have to change that playing in the AAC.
2013 UCF College Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. Akron
Sept. 6 at Florida International
Sept. 14 at Penn State
Sept. 28 vs. South Carolina
Oct. 5 at Memphis
Oct. 18 at Louisville
Oct. 26 vs. Connecticut
Nov. 9 vs. Houston
Nov. 16 at Temple
Nov. 21 vs. Rutgers
Nov. 29 vs. South Florida
Dec. 7 at SMU
UCF has a rough start to the season with four of their first six games coming on the road. They finish out non-conference play at Penn State and home to South Carolina which will likely leave them at 2-2 entering AAC play. A road game at Louisville in October is going to be a real test for this defense and whether or not the offense can stick around in a high-scoring battle.
While things start rough for the Knights, they finish pretty nicely with their final six games all being potential wins. Their hardest matchup will be against Rutgers, but at least they get to play them in Central Florida. Their final two road games are at Temple and SMU which can be won as long as their offense is clicking by then.
If UCF can keep their confidence strong even after a couple difficult games, they should be able to end the season quite nicely and possibly get to nine wins if all goes well. Bortles has what it takes to lead this team to a winning record in the AAC.
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