Along with Milton’s running chops, the Knights have Adrian Killins (122 ATT, 790 YDs, 6.5 YPA, 10 TDs), a junior, who won First-Team All-AAC honors last season. Killins also has 25 catches for 169 yards and one TD. Plus, there’s sophomore Otis Anderson (69 ATT, 494 YDs, 7.2 YPA, 4 TDs), a solid number two running back. The O-line has lost some of its starting power, but they add some great recruits as well as Vandy grad transfer Bailey Granier. This unit look to be one of the better lines in the AAC.
The linebacking unit sees senior MLB Patrick Jasinski (104 TKLs, 1 SCK, 7.5 TFL, 1 INT), the team’s leading tackler, return to anchor that group. Alabama transfer Shawn Burgess-Becker, a junior, will start at OLB. The secondary is loaded, as two seniors man the safety spots. Strong safety Kyle Gibson (64 TKLs, 4 PBU, 4 INTs) and free safety Tre Neal (68 TKLs, 3 PBU, 3 INTs) are both able defenders and pick artists. Corners Brandon Moore (31 TKLs, 8 PBU, 1 INT) and Nevelle Clarke (25 TKLs, 3 PBU, 1 INT) are top-notch with Clarke being considered an elite performer. This defense allowed 25.3 PPG (3rd AAC, 52nd Nationally), which is most games offered them an ample cushion.
The Knights offer very solid special teams. Senior punter Mac Loudermilk (46 Punts, 36.6 YPP, 22 w/in 20) has good placement, but could use more distance. Senior placekicker Matthew Wright (80-81 XP, 13-18 FG) was dependable in extra points but off-and-on when it came for field goals. His longest was 47 yards. Top return man in punts and kicks, Mike Hughes, who had three run-backs for TDs, has to be replaced. Whoever does so may not be as intimidating as Hughes was, but he’s sure to be sound.
2018 UCF Knights College Football Preview: Final Word
Our 2018 UCF Knights college football preview finds that this team has a fairly friendly schedule. They start with an away game with conference-member Connecticut (Aug 30) and then open at home against South Carolina State (Sep 8). We expect the Knights to take both games. When Florida Atlantic (Sep 21) visits, UCF will face a tough test. The Owls are the top team in C-USA. Right after that, at home again, they have to face the Pittsburgh Panthers (Sep 29). We think the Knights could get mauled in this one. The will play the best team in the AAC West, the Memphis Tigers (Oct 13) in Memphis. The Knights did hammer the Tigers last year 40-13. Temple (Nov 1) and Navy (Nov 10) could go either way. UCF could go 1-1. They finish the season at USF (Nov 23. Last season’s meeting was decided by a TD.
Top Three Takeaways
- QB Milton makes this offense go
- Well-stocked in both WRs and RBs
- D is sound overall, but needs something extra at line.