UCF Needs More Bone And Less Zone
All in all UCF had a pretty good season. Going from 0-12 to 6-6, and a bowl game, was no small feat for new head coach Scott Frost. UCF won the games they were supposed to win, and lost the ones they were supposed to lose. Three of those losses were nail biters to the end against eventual eventual AAC Champs Temple, Greg Ward's Houston Cougars, and Big 10 Maryland. These close losses turned a great debut season into a good debut season for Coach Frost.
UCF's freshman QB McKenzie Milton played well in spurts, but lacked consistency, and did not solidify a starting position for 2017. Coach Frost currently has two highly recruited dual threat QB commitments that will give Milton some tough competition to start next season. He also has the number 2 ranked recruiting class in the AAC waiting in the wings to be signed for next season. This is not a done deal with newly arrived high profile coaches like Lane Kiffin (FAU), Charlie Strong (USF), and Butch Davis (FIU) frantically poaching Florida high schools recruits for their new teams.
UCF needs to drastically improve its running game if it wants to return to the top tier of the AAC. Frost's zone read offense was pretty well dissected by opposing defenses this season. The version of Chip Kelly's offense that Frost brought to UCF from Oregon is no longer a mystery to defenses. In the beginning even a sloppily executed read option offense could befuddle a unfamiliar defense. Now it must be executed to perfection for it to work effectively.
One option is for Frost to reach back to his wishbone roots at Nebraska. Scott Frost won the national championship at Nebraska running Tom Osborne's wishbone offense. The wishbone was understood by defenses decades ago, but still won multiple national championships during its heyday, because of its run game advantages. Ga Tech is still beating SEC teams, going 3-0 this season against SEC bowl teams, using Paul Johnson's flexbone version of the wishbone. Navy won the AAC West beating 6 bowl teams plus Notre Dame using the wishbone.
Forward thinking coaches like Frost should realize the future may reside in the past.