Central Florida is making waves throughout college football this year and it’s thanks in part to head coach Scott Frost. The 15th-ranked Knights travel to Texas today to take on SMU in an American Athletic Conference. UCF will be look to continue their current unbeaten season, even if coach Frost is absent. Frost is set to coach the game in Dallas but…..
— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) November 4, 2017
Though there could be some distraction of coach Frost leaving, the Knights will be ready for whatever situation may need to happen. Here are a few keys for UCF success in staying unbeaten:
High Scoring Offenses
UCF boasts one of the top scoring offenses in college football right now. Averaging nearly 51 points per game, the Knights are led by quarterback McKenzie Milton who is playing at an elite level, even as a junior. He has completed 57% of his passes for the year for nearly 2000 yards.
On the other side is an SMU team that also has found the end zone at a very high rate. The Mustangs have been able to score an average of 41.5 points per game on offense thanks to their quarterback Ben Hicks. The redshirt sophomore from Waco, Texas has thrown for 2305 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year.
Defense Adamant On Change
For a defense that is ranked pretty high in the nation, last week was a bit of a shocker to the Knights. The defense allowed 228 yards and 19 points in the first half alone, something that hasn’t happened all season. They were able to turn it around in the second half, but defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was not happy with the lack of tackling and effort from that game.
In addition to focusing on adding more effort and tackling drills, the Knights defense has continued to work on takeaway drills. They rank 16th in the nation in takeaways and will have to face a tough pass attack Saturday. Hicks loves to find receivers Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn down the field, as the two have combined for 1580 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year. The secondary will have its hands full covering these two and it will be important to force turnovers wherever they can.
Third Element Of Game Is Key
The Knights kick returner Mike Hughes has been able to set up Central Florida with great field position all year. Hughes has averaged 31.5 yards for every kick return he’s taken so far. He should be able to find success against this SMU kick return defense that has allowed 23.7 yards per return.