In 2015, UCF went 0-12. Head coach Scott Frost, his staff and his players got to work in January 2016, determined to turn the program around.
In Frost’s first season at the helm, UCF went 6-7 and earned a bid to the 2016 AutoNation Cure Bowl at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. It marked the first time a team had gone from winless to a bowl game since UCF went 0-11 in 2004 and then played in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl. Only eight teams in NCAA FBS history have ever gone from winless to a bowl game in just one season.
In Frost’s second season, he led the Knights to an undefeated 13-0 season, capped by a 34-27 victory over #7 Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Since 1996 (when UCF entered FBS play), no other team has gone winless and then won 10+ games in under two years.
UCF is now home to the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation (48.2 points per game) and the Knights never scored less than 31 points in a game this past season. UCF ranks 2nd in passing efficiency, 3rd in turnover margin and 5th in total offense.
The offensive turnaround orchestrated by Frost and his staff is absolutely stunning. Just look at this comparison of offensive statistics between the 0-12, winless 2015 Knights and the 13-0, undefeated 2017 Knights.
The 2015 Knights only scored 167 points the entire season, a meager 13.9 average per game. The 2017 UCF offense rolled up 627 points, avergaing almost half a hundred points per contest (48.2 points per game). And that was with UCF star quarterback McKenzie Milton sitting out the second half of many games that were already decided by halftime.
Back in 2015, the Knights only had 975 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground in 12 games. This year, the Knights scored 39 rushing touchdowns and piled up 2,583 yards running the football.
That is an absolutely stunning turnaround. The Knights went from one rushing TD every three games in 2015 to averaging three rushing touchdowns per game in 2017. Wow.
The two year transformation of UCF’s passing game under Frost’s leadership is just as remarkable. Even though the 2017 Knights had one less passing attempt (424 throws) than their counterparts in 2015 (425 throws), they completed a much higher percentage of throws for way more yardage and points.
From 2015 to 2017, interceptions dropped from 23 to 9, passing touchdowns ballooned from 13 to 38 and UCF’s passing yardage increased from 2,246 to 4,313 yards.
Considering that Nebraska finished this past season ranked 84th in scoring offense, 121st in rushing offense (!) and only scored over 31 points once over the past ten games (a 56-44 loss at Penn State after James Franklin called off the dogs at halftime), it’s safe to say that Frost’s offensive system will be light years ahead of anything Mike Riley dialed up during his dismal three years coaching the Huskers.
|UCF (2017)||UCF (2015)|
|Scoring: Games - Points||13 - 627||12 - 167|
|First Downs: Total||327||189|
|First Downs: Rush - Pass - By Penalty||120 - 170 - 37||59 - 110 - 20|
|Rushing: Yards / Attempt||5.17||2.74|
|Rushing: Attempts - Yards - TD||500 - 2583 - 39||356 - 975 - 4|
|Passing: Attempts - Completions - INTs - TD||424 - 287 - 9 - 38||425 - 211 - 23 - 13|
|Total Offense: Yards / Play||7.46||4.12|
|Total Offense: Plays - Yards||924 - 6,896||781 - 3,221|
|Fumbles: Number - Lost||10 - 6||17 - 10|
|Penalties: Number - Yards||109 - 888||64 - 541|
|Time of Possession / Game||28:04:00||27:35:00|
|3rd Down Conv: Conversion %||45.45%||29.24%|
|3rd Down Conv: Attempts - Conversions||165 - 75||171 - 50|
|4th Down Conv: Conversion %||50%||33.33%|
|4th Down Conv: Attempts - Conversions||20 - 10||18 - 6|
|Red Zone: Success %||84.51%||75%|
|Red Zone: Attempts - Scores||71 - 60||28 - 21|