The 2015 football season is in the books for the UCF Knights, and people all around campus couldn’t be any happier. It was a roller coaster of a season, to say the least. But the downs definitely outweighed the ups. George O’Leary began the season as the team’s athletic director and head coach, but ended the season as neither. Multiple quarterbacks threw many interceptions throughout the year while freshman sensation Tre’Quan Smith set school records. But while Smith caught touchdowns, the defense allowed many more.
The Knights went 0-12 this season and are heading into an important offseason. But one thing was missing going into Tuesday- a head coach. After many interviews and many reports that UCF was in the hunt for a defensive-minded coach, they went the opposite route, hiring one of the most electrifying offensive coaches in the country.
Oregon has left its footprint on college football in the past few years with a show stopping offense run by Scott Frost, the offensive coordinator in Eugene for the past three years. Frost has dealt with talent before, having coached players like De’Anthony Thomas, Josh Huff, and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, among others. However, it is unclear if UCF even has the talent right now. Despite being located in a state with young talent everywhere, UCF’s 0-12 season has scared many recruits away. The rebuilding process starts now for Scott Frost.
As a former quarterback at Nebraska, Frost excels in getting the most out of his passer. The quarterback position is a big question mark going into the offseason with three quarterbacks getting a lot of playing time this season. Incoming senior Justin Holman was the clear-cut starter going into the year, but injuries gave freshmen Bo Schneider and Tyler Harris the opportunity to shine. Shine is the least of what they did, as both freshmen played poorly. When Holman returned, things were supposed to pick up. However, the junior QB picked up right where Schneider and Harris left off. Holman finished the year with 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, leaving the door wide open for another passer to take his spot.
However, the elephant in the room remains unclear- the defense. Frost is not a defensive-minded coach. And while he’ll do everything he can to improve the offense, the “D” needs just as much improvement. It is not certain whether UCF will keep defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan on its staff, and at this point, it’s a tough decision. Bresnahan coordinated one of the worst defenses in the country this year but has years of collegiate and pro experience. With all the tools to be great, it’s a mystery as to why Bresnahan’s defense did so poorly this season. The defense is definitely an area to watch in the coming weeks.
UCF has many reasons to be optimistic. Scott Frost is a dynamic offensive coach who will make this offense great again, in my opinion. However, their biggest key to success is lined up at wide receiver: Tre’Quan Smith. Going into his sophomore season, Smith will be expected to do more of the same. And the good news for UCF fans: Frost knows exactly how to use his weapons. Expect another big year from the youngster and an even better one if they can find the right quarterback to fit the offense.