Photo courtesy UCF Athletics Communications.

Preview: UCF vs. South Carolina State


Welcome to September, where college football makes its long awaited return. For most teams, the opening of a new season means another chance at a run for a bowl championship victory. For UCF, it means a shot at redemption with a new system, new team and new captain at the helm of the ship that sunk to 0-12 last year.

Scott Frost will show off what he and the Knights have been working on since last November when the 2015 campaign ended with a loss to USF on Thanksgiving day. A new fast offense, led by senior quarterback Justin Holman, is expected to run circles around a South Carolina State defense.

Holman, being helped along by offensive coordinator Troy Walters, will utilize a speedy snap-count, quick, no-huddle-like offense and a couple offensive weapons such as wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith and running back Taj McGowan to try to claim their first win in 639 days.

UCF returns a lineup that is almost exactly like their 2015-16 squad with the exception of guard Tarik Cook and H-backs Joseph Puopolo and Cedric Thompson. Holman returns after dealing with an injury in 2015 and leading the Knights to a conference title game in 2014-15.

On the defensive side of the ball, a well-conditioned group of guys having many months of practice dealing with a non-stop offense look to shut down the Bulldog offense. Led by coordinator defensive Erik Chinander, cornerbacks D.J. Killings and Shaquill Griffin look to lead a strong backfield against a threatening South Carolina State passing game.

In 2008, UCF opened up its 2008 campaign against South Carolina State with a 17-0 victory. UCF, in its 38th year of college football, are in its 10th year here at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Tonight’s game will start at 7:04 p.m. with the captains for the Knights still to be determined.