As we count down with only 6 weeks to go before College Football kicks off the best season of the sports year, finally it’s time to take a look at the UCF Knights upcoming 2018 Football Season. Star QB McKenzie Milton returns as a #Heisman Trophy candidate. Talented Dredrick Snelson, Adrian Killins Jr. and Otis Anderson, among others, return in UCF’s #UCFast offense under new coach Josh Heupel.
Here is a quick preview of UCF’s coming season and challenges facing them to duplicate last year’s 13-0, undefeated #NationalChampionship year of 2017. Hopefully it will all go off as scheduled, and above all, no hurricanes pull off any upsets!
It’s unusual to play an AAC Conference game right off the bat, and might be a first for UCF, but it is certainly much more welcome to play the Huskies on the road in August than November. If you are a young developing team like UConn, you definitely never want to play an experienced powerhouse like UCF early in the season, rivalry or not. This one will not be pretty for UConn, as the Knights win by 35.
Sept. 8th vs South Carolina State Bulldogs
Personally, I am against such practice games once the season starts, but if they insist on offering up these early season lambs for the slaughter, so be it. Lots of reserves will see action and UCF will put up 50 for the second straight game, winning by 49.
This game to me will be the key of the non-conference schedule, even if it’s not the most difficult. UNC is rebuilding, but still, they will be UCF’s first real test of the year. I expect the Knights will shake early season rust off though, and win by 14.
This will be one of the most #Heuped shootouts of the year, as the #LaneTrain and the upset minded CUSA Champ Owls come to the “Bounce House”. Unfortunately, I expect it will not be a fun trip for FAU fans, as they will be breaking in a new QB. If DC Randy Shannon’s UCF defense is up to the task in shutting down the Owl’s star RB Devin Singletary, this will be UCF all the way, winning by 21.
Sept. 29th vs Pittsburgh Panthers
The Panthers are the better of the 2 ACC opponents UCF face, and have a lot of returning depth. Unfortunately for Pitt, they will face the UCF juggernaut on the road. The Knights offense will be too much and should pull away in the 2nd half, winning by 10.
This game was nearly a loss for the Knights last year on the road, but UCF gets the Mustangs at home this year, and without their 2 stud NFL bound WR’s. QB Ben Hicks returns, but will have to adjust to a new coach and offense, so I expect the Knights to roll over SMU this time by 28.
This is the first rematch of UCF’s 2 epic games from 2017, with the Knights heading on the road this time. But the Tigers have lost 2 major pieces in QB Riley Ferguson and WR Anthony Miller, and until they can show the have found adequate replacements for both, I see the UCF winning by 14.
This game will be ugly from the start, with UCF lighting up the hapless Pirates early and often on offense. The home game humiliation in front of a proud ECU fanbase might be the beginning of the end for their coach Scottie Montgomery, as UCF wins by 42.
Oct. 27th Bye Week
No game this week. So for all you recruits, that means if you are a UCF Knights football player you are probably relaxing on a beach like this on your much deserved week off. At Nebraska?? Not so much…
This game would be my pick for the trap game of the year, but UCF lucked out by getting the gritty Owls at home, and also after a bye week, allowing them 2 weeks to prepare. Temple will be a good team that plays UCF tough, but the Knights will lead from the start and win by 17.
Again UCF’s schedule is kind, as they get another tough opponent at home. Navy’s game plan is to limit possessions by running down the clock, so the Knights will have to be efficient and mistake free to take down the Midshipmen. The Knights will take care of business and win by just 10.
This game will not be much easier for the Bearcats than in 2017, when Mother Nature mercifully interverned. The Knights will be in late season form, and while Cincy will be improved, it won’t be nearly enough. UCF may get caught looking ahead to #BlackFriday, but it won’t matter as they win by 35.
Nov. 23th at USwF Cows(usf bulls)
The War On I-4! While this game will be the most hyped and highly anticipated all year by both fanbases, happily it will be a huge disappointment for the rival USwF “Cows”. The USF Bulls were primarily a running offense in 2017 that lost 93% of their ground game to graduation, in particular the greatest player in USF history, QB Quinton Flowers. The “Replacements” will not have a movie ending unfortunately, as the writing will already be on the wall when they come into this game with multiple losses.
The UCF “Zombie” Nation will invade RayJay Stadium and make this a defacto home game, as the Knights will toy with their outmanned, hated rival and roll them by 21. Expect Charlie Strong to start looking for the earliest P5 ship out after this season.
2018 Season Outlook:
Yes, I know I have UCF picked to win every game. While I do believe that will happen more than it will not, going undefeated is a lot harder than it looks, especially in a sport like college football that takes such a physical toll. Winning every game on your schedule takes a tremendous amount of luck as well as focus to maintain a level of excellence through a grueling season.
The temptation is there to say that there are potential hazards in the FAU, Pitt, Memphis, and Navy games, but the UCF Knights football team is still very motivated and focused, with an even bigger chip on their shoulder than last year. Players and new coaching staff alike still have plenty to prove, and while it may not always be pretty, I believe the will get through the regular season 12-0 to go undefeated again in 2018. As always, #GoKnights and #ChargeOn!!