UCF Knights Football Season Preview History
2012 UCF FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has been one of the up-and-coming football programs over the past several years, gaining respect around Conference-USA and sending a steady stream of players to the NFL. During the 2011 season, the UCF Knights fielded a fairly young squad which finished with a 5-7 record and a 3-5 record in C-USA. After opening the season with big wins over Charleston Southern and Boston College, the Knights were in every game that they played and could have easily finished with a much better record. Another year older and wiser, the Knights look to take the next step toward C-USA dominance and respect in the national rankings.
During 2012, it looks like the Knights will hand over the keys to their offense to redshirt freshman Blake Bortles, who has shined during spring practices. He will have a talented backfield to work with, as running backs Brynn Harvey and Latavius Murray will once again shoulder the load for the offense. The Knights have an impressive group of tight ends and receivers with senior Kevin Garvey as a major threat on the line and Quincy McDuffie and J.J. Worton offering plenty of speed on the outside. The team's offensive line looks like one of the strongest units on the team, with a bevy of offensive starters and depth positions that should keep them playing consistently throughout the season.
On defense, the Knights will receive a boost from a stronger and more versatile defensive line, led by last year's sacks leader, Troy Davis, at defensive end. The Knights have one of the most athletic groups of linebackers in Conference-USA, with new middle linebacker Terrance Plummer joining a veteran group of tacklers. In the secondary, returning starter A.J. Bouye and newcomer Brandon Alexander will hold down the cornerback spots, while Clayton Geathers and Kemal Ishmael will patrol the middle of the field.
The 2012 schedule is much tougher than it was last year, as the Knights will face a handful of Top 25-worthy programs like Ohio State and Missouri, as well as emerging C-USA teams like Southern Miss and East Carolina. If the Knights can get consistent pressure from their defensive line and steady play out of new quarterback Blake Bortles in the beginning of the season, this could be one of the most exciting years of UCF football that fans have seen in quite some time.
2011 UCF Football Preview:
Central Florida had one of the best seasons in school history last year. The Knights won the Conference USA title and beat SEC powerhouse Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. With a sizable portion of its team returning, UCF may be able to replicate the success of their first-ever 11 win season and make another title run.
Whether the Knights can return to the Conference USA title game hinges largely on how quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey can perform. That shouldn't be a problem, though, since he's played well enough as a freshman last season and has plenty of experience under his belt. He will be joined by running backs Brynn Harvey and Latavius Murray, who are both solid options.
Perhaps the biggest question is on the defensive side of the ball. The Knights lost a few key players on the defensive line and in their linebacking corps. But that's not to say the defense is without its fair share of talent. Now, they will have to switch their focus to the secondary, which has two standout players in Josh Robinson and Kemal Ishmael who will lead the way.
2010 UCF Football Preview:
In 2007, the University of Central Florida Knights football team put together a 10-4 record and won its first conference championship, finishing at the top of Conference USA. In 2009, the team won their first game against a nationally ranked opponent, beating the 13th-ranked Houston Cougars on their home turf at Bright House Networks Stadium. So what's in store for 2010?
Coming off a season that culminated in their third bowl game appearance, the Knights will be looking to surpass East Carolina - the only team that finished higher in Conference USA East last year - and reign over the division. With the loss of quarterback Brett Hodges, sophomore Rob Calabrese will take the reins of UCF offense in the upcoming season. Should he falter, the talented freshman Jeffrey Godfrey is waiting in the wings.
A whole new personnel from the spring season may greet fans when the team takes the field for its opening game on September 4. Coach George O'Leary has said that the coaching staff is looking for new running backs who can help out redshirt freshman Brendan Kelly and true freshman Jonathan Davis fill in for Brynn Harvey, who is recovering from knee surgery.
In 2010, a conference championship for the UCF knights is not only a possibility, but an expectation.
2009 UCF Football Preview:
Head Coach: George OLeary
The Central Florida Knights are a top on the rise heading into the 2009 season. The success of the program in recent years has built a solid foundation on which the Knights hope to expand this coming season. UCF Head Coach George O'Leary will be pushing his team to exceed expectations and make big waves in Conference USA. A win in Austin in 2009, against the Texas Longhorns, could be the kind of thing that propels the Central Florida program to new heights.
2008 UCF Football Preview:
Head Coach: George OLeary
The University of Central Florida Knights football program may be one of the youngest programs in the country, but that hasn't kept the team from becoming a solid Division I FBS competitor. UCF has also proven to be a tough team to beat for Conference USA teams trying to win a conference title. The Knights new stadium, Bright House Networks Stadium, will be teeming with UCF fans this season looking for another Conference USA title and a BCS Bowl bid.