Will Gus Malzahn and UCF Football Make a Great First Impression to Move the Program Forward?

UCF Football received several different special opportunities for the 2021 college football season. Will the Knights take advantage of an innovative Head Coach and several other unique advantages all aligning for the 2021 season?
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It’s year one for Head Coach Gus Malzahn as the new Head Coach of the Knights. As time passes and the season quickly comes into view, there’s an incredible opportunity for immediate on-field success. More importantly, it's a one-shot season to utilize fantastic talent like Dillon Gabriel, Cole Schneider, Kalia Davis and Eriq Gilyard among several big-time players.

If the Knights do in fact make it happen on the gridiron this season, i.e. at minimum reach a major bowl game, it’s going to benefit the program in 2021 and beyond. To advance the program overall, it’s about earning the money from alumni and boosters, as well as raking in media revenue.

Look, donations go up when you win, and so do the television ratings. That’s just the way it works.

UCF needs both categories to help with the revenue to come pouring in during and after the 2021 season. Winning will make that happen. Before kicking off, kudos to the UCF Athletic Department for unveiling their Football vision, as well as the following video, as game week begins.

What is a great first impression for the actual UCF Football team? It’s an entire season of great football, as well as more extremely well timed events announced by the athletic department because of how the football program played.

Now, which pieces of the puzzle need to come together so UCF Football crushes an opportunity to make national headlines?

Will the Knights Win 10 or More Games?

Considering UCF’s talent level, this is not a schedule that’s all that difficult. It’s just not. If UCF wants to play with the big boys, this must be the type of schedule that’s looked at with respect, but yet with the knowledge that there’s not a single team on the schedule with more raw top-end talent.

Barring a string of serious injuries, anything less than a 10 win season should be considered a failure. UCF is simply superior to the majority of teams on the slate, and the groundwork that was put in this offseason will allow that talent to play at a high level, too.

They Grinded, Now Can the UCF Players Make it Pay Off?

The UCF Football team went through a transformation with new Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Dawson. The behind the scenes applause from players and members of the UCF Football program proved to be many. There’s also the aspect of all the work in the hot Orlando son through spring practice, summer conditioning and fall camp. Now it’s time to show it off when Sep. 2 comes and Boise State arrives in Orlando.

Jaylon Robinson, Wide Receiver, UCF - Weight Room

Jaylon Robinson, Wide Receiver, UCF

Will UCF be Road Warriors?

The overall win total will continue to be priority No. 1. That stated, there’s nothing like UCF going to another team’s home field and beating them badly enough that members of the Knights roster watch the opposing team’s fans leave the stadium early.

That’s the definition of domination.

With road contests coming up this season against Louisville (Sep. 17) and Cincinnati (Oct. 16), two teams that hold some national cache, the Knights could catapult the Football program forward with big wins. Yes, that literally means dominating. That’s very hard. No question. If UCF wants to join the fray at the absolute highest level of college football, however, dominating road wins are the fastest way to reach that platteau.

How Many UCF Players Earn Postseason Awards?

No particular award, no particular position, just let it play out. If UCF goes through the 2021 season with the type of success that Inside The Knights expects, several Knights will earn All-AAC honors. Further, at least a few of the Knights will be considered for national recognition.

This category circles back to the prior category. If you want awards, win big on the road. Not to mention, those will be nationally televised games. For an opportunity to seize the moment, winning at least one if not both of those games could truly help change the national perception and trajectory of the UCF Football program, as well as allow several UCF players to earn postseason awards in the process.

Final Thoughts

Everything is in place to win big this season. The Knights also possess a great long-term vision that will be propelled further with a great season. It must come together during the 2021 season for UCF to maximize this unique opportunity and help to move the program forward.

You will find me on Twitter @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation

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