How Malzahn fits at UCF
Feldman: It will be interesting to see how Malzahn does in Orlando. UCF fans have gotten used to seeing a lot of high-powered offense in the past few years, finishing in the top 20 in offense in each of the past four seasons (three of those ranking in the top 10).
Malzahn’s offenses have ranked No. 69, No. 83 and No. 70 in the FBS the past three years and eighth, 10th and 10th in the SEC. When Malzahn arrived in the SEC, the Tigers had one of the most potent offenses in the country with back-to-back top-10 seasons, but things tailed off quite a bit offensively after that.
What makes the UCF job attractive?
Chris Vannini, college football staff writer: All kinds of coaches across the country wanted this job. It pays well, it has access to the best high school talent, it has facilities and a loyal fan base, and there’s a path to New Year’s Six bowls. This Group of 5 job is better than many Power 5 jobs. The fact that UCF was able to land a coach with a national championship appearance on his resume is indicative of how appealing the job is.
UCF’s outlook for 2021
Vannini: The Knights lost a lot of skill from both sides of the ball after the 2020 season, with many choosing to pursue the NFL Draft rather than come back with the extra year allowed by the NCAA. UCF needs to find some new starting wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs. But the offense still has Dillon Gabriel, one of the best quarterbacks in the country. How will his skill set fit in Malzahn’s offense? That’s a big question on offense.
Defensively, will UCF keep coordinator Randy Shannon or buy him out of his $1 million contract? He’s been a strong recruiter for the Knights and has incredibly deep ties in the state, but his group took a big step back last season.
(Photo: Chuck Cook / USA Today)