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UCF soccer 2022 season prediction, preview, awards, 2022 bowl recreation

UCF soccer 2022 season prediction, preview, awards, 2022 bowl recreation

UCF soccer is now firmly within the Gus Malzahn period and, now that he’s beginning to go away his imprint on the Knights, they need to see a profitable 2022 season. 

The primary yr for Gus Malzahn on the helm of the UCF soccer program could have been considerably underwhelming for the requirements of Knights followers however the former Auburn head coach handled a ton of adversity and was in a position to nonetheless piece collectively a terrific season.

Now they arrive into the 2022 season with a brand new quarterback and new hope that Malzahn is able to get the Knights again to the highest of the AAC. However can they get to these heights?

Coming in at No. 47 on FanSided’s Preseason Top 50 Rankings, the UCF Knights.

UCF soccer 2021 season in overview

In 2020, the Knights completed the yr with a 6-4 document and a loss within the Boca Raton Bowl to the BYU Cougars. Head coach Josh Heupel left this system after the season to change into the brand new sideline boss for the Tennessee Volunteers. The Knights regarded in direction of the SEC and determined to rent former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn to interchange him.

The Knights began off their season in a busy style, pulling off a 36-31 win over Boise State within the opener. Via the primary six video games, UCF sat with a 3-3 document. However within the second half, they have been in a position to bounce again by taking 5 of their remaining six video games to complete the common season with an 8-4 document.

UCF was named a participant within the Gasparilla Bowl, the place they matched up towards a Florida Gators workforce that was free-falling and fired Dan Mullen halfway via the season. The Knights have been in a position to pull out the 29-17 win. Extensive receiver Ryan O’Keefe was named MVP after recording seven receptions for 85 yards and a landing.

Previewing UCF Knights offense for 2022 season

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  • Returning starters (6/7): RB Isaiah Bowser, RB Johnny Richardson, WR Ryan O’Keefe, WR Amari Johnson, OL Matthew Lee, OL Lokahi Pauole, OL Samuel Jackson
  • Newcomers: QB John Rhys Plumlee (Ole Miss), WR Kobe Hudson (Auburn), LT Tylan Grable (Jacksonville State), OL Ryan Swoboda (Virginia), TE Kemore Gamble (Florida)
  • Influence participant: John Rhys Plumlee

For the Knights offense, there will likely be a battle for the beginning quarterback place. The workforce has Mikey Keene returning after taking on for an injured Dillon Gabriel within the 2021 marketing campaign. However, he could have some competitors within the type of John Rhys Plumlee, who transferred over from Ole Miss. But, Plumlee has loads of rust with simply eight move makes an attempt over the previous two seasons. Nonetheless, his dual-threat capacity could possibly be precisely what Malzahn desires within the offense.

The operating again room is unbroken, with Isaiah Bowser and Johnny Richardson returning for this season, who each logged over 700 yards dashing final season.

As for the passing assault, vast receivers Ryan O’Keefe and Amari Johnson are all returning. However becoming a member of the Knight’s vast receiver depth chart is Kobe Johnson, a switch from Auburn. The workforce does have a brand new tight finish in Kemore Gamble, who transferred over from the Florida Gators program.

The offensive line has two new offensive linemen in former Jacksonville State sort out Tylan Grable and Virginia guard Ryan Swoboda.

Previewing UCF Knights protection for 2022 season

  • Returning starters (8): CB Davonte Brown, NB Justin Hodges, DT Ricky Barber, DT Keenan Hester, DE Josh Celiscar, LB Tre’Mon Morris-Brash, S Quadric Bullard, S Divaad Wilson
  • Newcomers: LB Branden Jennings (Kansas State), LB Jason Johnson (Japanese Illinois), DE Okay.D. McDaniel (Kentucky), DL Lee Hunter (Auburn)
  • Influence participant: Davonte Brown

The protection stays comparatively intact, with some departures. Tatum Bethune, their main tackler from final season, won’t be again, as he transferred to Florida State. Sacks chief Markaviest Bryant made the soar to the NFL, signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Their linebacker corps has seen probably the most change, with the workforce having six transfers on the roster, together with Branden Jennings from Kansas State and Jason Johnson from Japanese Illinois.

UCF’s main move defenders will return, together with Davonte Brown and Justin Hodges. Simply final yr, the Knights’ move protection allowed simply 210.1 air yards per recreation, ranked 35th in the entire nation.

UCF soccer gamers awards look ahead to 2022 season

Isaiah Bowser, Heisman

Usually, the simplest option to make for the Heisman watch is to place within the beginning quarterback. There may be one difficulty — it’s unknown who will win the beginning job between Keene and Plumlee. As an alternative, we take a look at one other place that’s prone to win a Heisman, and that’s operating again.

The highest operating again on the roster is Isaiah Bowser. He transferred over final season from Northwestern, and shined in his eight video games for the Knights. He did miss time because of accidents.

In eight video games, Bowser ran for 703 yards and 9 touchdowns on 159 carries. Bowser returned in time for the Gasparilla Bowl, the place he rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. That was his first recreation since Nov. 6 that yr.

If Bowser can keep wholesome, he might have the possibility to make some noise because the workforce’s Heisman candidate.

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Ryan O’Keefe, Biletnikoff Award

O’Keefe ought to be the favourite within the vast receivers room to earn Biletnikoff honors for greatest receiver within the nation. Final season, he caught 84 passes for 812 yards and 7 touchdowns. He ended the season on a excessive observe by profitable the Gasparilla Bowl MVP award.

This could possibly be the almost definitely honor for a UCF participant this season.

Isaiah Bowser, Doak Walker Award

We could also be dishonest on this one, however Bowser is a official candidate for the Doak Walker award for the very best operating again within the nation. In reality, he was positioned on the Doak Walker award’s pre-season watch record, alongside Johnny Richardson Jr.

Bowser will possible be the starter for almost all of the season, and will put him in competition for this award. Nonetheless, don’t rely out Richardson on profitable the award as properly.

UCF soccer greatest recreation on 2022 Schedule

When trying on the Knight’s schedule, one opponent stands out among the many relaxation. That’s, in fact, the Cincinnati Bearcats. Simply final yr, Cincinnati shocked the world by going undefeated within the common season, and an ideal 8-0 within the American Athletic Convention. With their season, they have been in a position to clinch the No. 4 seed within the Faculty Soccer Playoff, incomes them a shot towards the Alabama Crimson Tide within the Cotton Bowl. They in the end misplaced 27-6.

These two groups met final yr, and it was not even shut, because the Knights misplaced 56-21.

The Knights have the possibility to get some revenge towards their convention rivals and earn their first win over them since 2018.

UCF soccer best-case state of affairs

Maybe the very best case state of affairs for the upcoming season is that the Knights keep wholesome for almost all of the season. If that’s the case, they may stand to complete second place within the AAC. Even with the departures on Cincinnati, they’re nonetheless arduous to select towards within the convention.

So, greatest case state of affairs is that they end in second and make it right into a bowl recreation.

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UCF soccer worst-case state of affairs

The worst-case state of affairs is ending under .500 and never even having the ability to qualify for a bowl recreation. That might occur if the quarterback play is lower than perfect or if the accidents actually pile up on either side of the ball.

If issues are to go incorrect, many will look in direction of Malzahn. That’s precisely what occurred in his remaining years with the Auburn Tigers program earlier than the college in the end determined to maneuver on from him. It’s unlikely that UCF would transfer on from him in simply his second season, particularly after they completed with a profitable document final yr.

UCF soccer 2022 season prediction

The Knights look to be a comparatively stout workforce heading into the 2022 season, however the uncertainty at quarterback might damage the workforce from making an enormous leap from final yr. Contemplating that Cincinnati will likely be Cincinnati and Houston is on the rise, the Knights will miss out on the AAC Championship Sport. However, they may have a adequate document to comfortably make it to a bowl recreation.

Document: 9-3

UCF soccer 2022 bowl recreation prediction

Since UCF could have a profitable document however won’t make it to the AAC Championship Sport, what bowl recreation do they take part in? Since they don’t have any arduous affiliations, it’s arduous to foretell which one they may go to.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl looks as if a secure decide. College Football News predicts the Knights will attain that recreation as properly, so we’ll go along with that.

Up Subsequent: No. 46: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Different articles on this sequence

For extra NCAA football information, evaluation, opinion and distinctive protection by FanSided, together with Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, make sure you bookmark these pages.

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