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The Central Florida Knights: Conference USA Champs

CENTRAL FLORIDA KNIGHTS

  • Central Florida is one of the most experienced teams in college football with 16 returning starters, including quarterbacks Rob Calabrese and Jeff Godfrey.
  • One of the main reasons for my bullish attitude towards Central Florida is its head coach, George O’Leary, who has led the Knights to two Conference USA Titles and four bowl appearances.  Prior to landing at UCF, O’Leary guided Georgia Tech to a 52-33 record and five post-season berths in seven seasons.
  • Central Florida’s success is will once again be predicated upon an outstanding front seven on defense as the Knights enter the 2012-2013 campaign with the Conference’s best defensive line and set of linebackers.
  • UCF returns 4 of its 6 top tacklers in the backfield and return its most experienced defensive line since 2008.
  • The Knights will also display an excellent running game behind the Conference’s best offensive line.  UCF’s offensive line boasts 89 career starts and welcomes transfer Phil Smith from Georgia Tech, who is a three-year starter.
  • Running backs Latavius Murray, Brynn Harvey and Storm Johnson should easily eclipse last year’s totals (1422 yards; 4.7 yards per carry). Last year, Harvey led the Knights with 574 yards (4.6 yards per carry), while Murray finished with 549 yards (5.6 yards per carry).

Head coach George O’Leary has a bevy of options behind center, including returning quarterbacks Calabrese and Godfrey.  Godfrey was ranked #1 in pass efficiency in CUSA two years ago, but saw his production drop last season. Calabrese could run the Wildcat offense like he did in 2010, but some suggest that the Knight’s will utilize his skills as a wide receiver.  O’Leary also has Blake Bortles and Rafael Echemendia at his disposal.  Central Florida is one of the most improved and experienced teams in the nation, and I expect the Knights to win the Conference USA Title.

GO Knights!

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