UCF football is now firmly in the Gus Malzahn period and, now that he’s initiating to head away his impress on the Knights, they’ll also mute find a a hit 2022 season.
The first year for Gus Malzahn on the helm of the UCF football program can even hold been reasonably of underwhelming for the criteria of Knights fans however the ragged Auburn head coach handled a ton of adversity and used to be ready to mute allotment collectively a terrific season.
Now they advance into the 2022 season with a new quarterback and new hope that Malzahn is ready to derive the Knights befriend to the halt of the AAC. Nevertheless can they derive to these heights?
Coming in at No. 47 on FanSided’s Preseason Prime 50 Rankings, the UCF Knights.
UCF football 2021 season in evaluation
In 2020, the Knights executed the year with a 6-4 document and a loss in the Boca Raton Bowl to the BYU Cougars. Head coach Josh Heupel left the program after the season to change into the new sideline boss for the Tennessee Volunteers. The Knights looked in direction of the SEC and decided to rent ragged Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn to interchange him.
The Knights started off their season in a busy vogue, pulling off a 36-31 retract over Boise Issue in the opener. By diagram of the first six video games, UCF sat with a 3-3 document. Nevertheless in the 2d half of, they had been ready to soar befriend by taking five of their final six video games to withhold out the accepted season with an 8-4 document.
UCF used to be named a participant in the Gasparilla Bowl, the attach they matched up against a Florida Gators crew that used to be free-falling and fired Dan Mullen midway thru the season. The Knights had been ready to drag out the 29-17 retract. Huge receiver Ryan O’Keefe used to be named MVP after recording seven receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Previewing UCF Knights offense for 2022 season
- Returning starters (6/7): RB Isaiah Bowser, RB Johnny Richardson, WR Ryan O’Keefe, WR Amari Johnson, OL Matthew Lee, OL Lokahi Pauole, OL Samuel Jackson
- Rookies: QB John Rhys Plumlee (Ole Jog over), WR Kobe Hudson (Auburn), LT Tylan Grable (Jacksonville Issue), OL Ryan Swoboda (Virginia), TE Kemore Gamble (Florida)
- Affect participant: John Rhys Plumlee
For the Knights offense, there’ll possible be a battle for the initiating quarterback location. The crew has Mikey Keene returning after taking on for an injured Dillon Gabriel in the 2021 campaign. Nevertheless, he’ll hold some competitors in the construct of John Rhys Plumlee, who transferred over from Ole Jog over. But, Plumlee has heaps of rust with honest eight cross attempts all the diagram in which thru the final two seasons. Nevertheless, his dual-threat capability would possibly well be exactly what Malzahn needs in the offense.
The running befriend room is undamaged, with Isaiah Bowser and Johnny Richardson returning for this season, who both logged over 700 yards dashing final season.
As for the passing assault, wide receivers Ryan O’Keefe and Amari Johnson are all returning. Nevertheless joining the Knight’s wide receiver depth chart is Kobe Johnson, a transfer from Auburn. The crew does hold a new tight lead to Kemore Gamble, who transferred over from the Florida Gators program.
The offensive line has two new offensive linemen in ragged Jacksonville Issue take care of Tylan Grable and Virginia guard Ryan Swoboda.
Previewing UCF Knights protection for 2022 season
- Returning starters (8): CB Davonte Brown, NB Justin Hodges, DT Ricky Barber, DT Keenan Hester, DE Josh Celiscar, LB Tre’Mon Morris-Brash, S Quadric Bullard, S Divaad Wilson
- Rookies: LB Branden Jennings (Kansas Issue), LB Jason Johnson (Jap Illinois), DE Okay.D. McDaniel (Kentucky), DL Lee Hunter (Auburn)
- Affect participant: Davonte Brown
The protection remains somewhat intact, with some departures. Tatum Bethune, their leading tackler from final season, would possibly well now not be befriend, as he transferred to Florida Issue. Sacks chief Markaviest Bryant made the soar to the NFL, signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
Their linebacker corps has viewed the most change, with the crew having six transfers on the roster, including Branden Jennings from Kansas Issue and Jason Johnson from Jap Illinois.
UCF’s leading cross defenders will return, including Davonte Brown and Justin Hodges. Ethical final year, the Knights’ cross protection allowed honest 210.1 air yards per recreation, ranked 35th in the entire nation.
UCF football gamers awards be taught about for 2022 season
Isaiah Bowser, Heisman
Customarily, the simplest wish to impact for the Heisman be taught about is to set apart first and most principal quarterback. There would possibly well be one attach — it is miles unknown who will retract the initiating job between Keene and Plumlee. As an different, we be taught about at one more location that is more possible to retract a Heisman, and that is running befriend.
The tip running befriend on the roster is Isaiah Bowser. He transferred over final season from Northwestern, and shined in his eight video games for the Knights. He did poke away out time attributable to accidents.
In eight video games, Bowser ran for 703 yards and 9 touchdowns on 159 carries. Bowser returned in time for the Gasparilla Bowl, the attach he rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. That used to be his first recreation since Nov. 6 that year.
If Bowser can attach healthy, he can even hold the probability to impact some noise as the crew’s Heisman candidate.
Ryan O’Keefe, Biletnikoff Award
O’Keefe can also mute be the accepted in the wide receivers room to invent Biletnikoff honors for superb receiver in the nation. Last season, he caught 84 passes for 812 yards and 7 touchdowns. He ended the season on a high existing by winning the Gasparilla Bowl MVP award.
This is in a position to be the presumably honor for a UCF participant this season.
Isaiah Bowser, Doak Walker Award
We is also dishonest on this one, however Bowser is a real candidate for the Doak Walker award for the appropriate running befriend in the nation. With out a doubt, he used to be positioned on the Doak Walker award’s pre-season be taught about list, alongside Johnny Richardson Jr.
Bowser is on the total the starter for nearly all of the season, and can also mute set apart him in competitors for this award. Nevertheless, elevate out now not depend out Richardson on winning the award as smartly.
UCF football superb recreation on 2022 Schedule
When taking a be taught about on the Knight’s schedule, one opponent stands out amongst the reduction. That’s, remember that, the Cincinnati Bearcats. Ethical final year, Cincinnati unnerved the enviornment by going undefeated in the accepted season, and to take into accounta good 8-0 in the American Athletic Convention. With their season, they had been ready to clinch the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff, earning them a shot against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Cotton Bowl. They in a roundabout diagram lost 27-6.
These two groups met final year, and it used to be now not even finish, as the Knights lost 56-21.
The Knights hold the probability to derive some revenge against their convention competitors and invent their first retract over them since 2018.
UCF football superb-case attach
Presumably the appropriate case attach for the upcoming season is that the Knights attach healthy for nearly all of the season. If that is the case, they’d perhaps stand to withhold out 2d location in the AAC. Even with the departures on Cincinnati, they’re mute onerous to retract against in the convention.
So, superb case attach is that they bring out in 2d and impact it true into a bowl recreation.
UCF football worst-case attach
The worst-case attach is ending below .500 and now not even being ready to qualify for a bowl recreation. That can also happen if the quarterback play is now not up to superb or if the accidents in point of fact pile up on both side of the ball.
If issues are to head depraved, many will be taught about in direction of Malzahn. That’s exactly what took location in his final years with the Auburn Tigers program sooner than the faculty in a roundabout diagram decided to movement on from him. It is unlikely that UCF would movement on from him in precisely his 2d season, specifically when they executed with a winning document final year.
UCF football 2022 season prediction
The Knights be taught about to be a somewhat colossal crew heading into the 2022 season, however the uncertainty at quarterback can also hurt the crew from making a gigantic jump from final year. Brooding about that Cincinnati will possible be Cincinnati and Houston is on the rise, the Knights will fail to see the AAC Championship Recreation. Nevertheless, they’ll hold a correct sufficient document to very with out wretchedness impact it to a bowl recreation.
UCF football 2022 bowl recreation prediction
Since UCF will hold a winning document however will now not impact it to the AAC Championship Recreation, what bowl recreation elevate out they get rid of half in? Since they assign now not need any onerous affiliations, it is miles onerous to predict which one they’ll poke to.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl looks fancy a loyal retract. College Football Data predicts the Knights will reach that recreation as smartly, so we’ll poke alongside with that.
Up Subsequent: No. 46: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Varied articles in this sequence
- No. 50: Nebraska Cornhuskers
- No. 49: Iowa Issue Cyclones
- No. 48: Maryland Terrapins
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