Schedule and Odds
Not many complaints can be made about UCF’s 2014 campaign after finishing 9-4 in a season that had them starting a new quarterback in Justin Holman. Once again, there is plenty of turnover for the Knights, but don’t expect this team to falloff at all. However, it will be impossible to be called co-champs again as the AAC now has divisions, and they’ll need to win the East to make the title Game.
Justin Holman is still only a junior and will need to show improvement at quarterback after throwing for 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a 56.9 completion percentage. Unfortunately, he lost his top Four receivers from a year ago, including burner Breshad Perriman. His top returning WR is Jordan Akins (135 yards, 0 TDs), so that could be a problem early in the year. Freshman Tre’Quan Smith jumped right into the starting lineup and should be one of Holman’s top targets.
The good news is that every other part of the offense should be better. The line returns five players with starting experience, even though the group from last year had trouble all season long. If those guys can gel quickly, that would in turn give Holman more time and also improve the rushing Game that averaged 3.2 yards per carry last year. William StaNBAck (697 yards, 10 TDs) and Dontravious Wilson are more than capable out of the backfield if the line opens up a few more holes.
UCF is usually known for a stout defense, but with only Four starters returning, may not be as good as previous years. The Knights allowed just 19.2 points per Game last year. They brought in Chuck Bresnahan as the new coordinator, who has coached all over the last few years from NFL to UFL and NCAA (South Florida).
Central Florida loses its top-five tacklers from 2014 as well as its entire secondary. The front seven will be their strength, though, with Thomas Niles and Demetris Anderson back. Those two should cause plenty of trouble for opposing offensive lines, along with sophomore linebacker Chequan Burkett. The secondary will be young and inexperienced, but not too many teams in the AAC are all that great of passing teams, so that shouldn’t cause too many problems.
As for the Knights’ Schedule, their non-Conference slate takes a step up in competition with road Games at Stanford and South Carolina. The Gamecocks look to be in a down period, but it’s not like that Game will be easy. Nevertheless, UCF started last year with two straight losses and still finished with nine wins in the regular season. The toughest Game for the Knights will be a road Game at Cincinnati, which takes place on Halloween and could be the Game that decides the East division. Otherwise, UCF’s AAC road Schedule is fairly nice with Games at Tulane, Temple and Tulsa.
The Knights won a lot of close Games last year and that’ll probably have to be the case again. This is still a solid bunch, but with a completely new secondary and receiving corps, they could run into some problems, most likely at Cincy. Reaching eight wins should be the likeliest of results, with an over/under set at seven wins over at sportsbook.ag.
2015 UCF Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. FIU
Sept. 12 at Stanford
Sept. 19 vs. Furman
Sept. 26 at South Carolina
Oct. 3 at Tulane
Oct. 10 vs. Connecticut
Oct. 17 at Temple
Oct. 24 vs. Houston
Oct. 31 at Cincinnati
Nov. 7 at Tulsa
Nov. 19 vs. East Carolina
Nov. 27 vs. South Florida