UCF football will focus on simple things in the first scrum

After five practices that included an absence on Thursday, UCF football will take to the field inside FBC Mortage Stadium for the first scrimmage of training camp on Sunday.

Knights coach Gus Malzahn said it would be more run-focused and simple by design. It will also be closed.

“There’s not a lot of arrangement for us to just assess our guys,” he said. “I’m not talking about the guys we already know or who started two or three years ago, but the guys who have just arrived, freshmen or those who didn’t start last year but can -be they are close.

“It will be a full assessment scrimmage and hopefully we will learn a lot about our team so that we can at least start putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”

A key positional group that Malzahn and his team will focus on are linebackers. UCF added several transfers over the summer, such as Branden Jennings (Kansas State) and Jason Johnson (Eastern Illinois).

A pair of freshmen also joined: Kam Moore from Seminole High and TJ Bullard from Berkeley Prep.

“These transfer linebackers, we think we have some really talented guys, but we need to find information quickly,” Malzahn said. “We can’t have growing pains on Saturdays.”

Before the first scrimmage, the Knights focused on two key areas during practices Friday and Saturday: third downs and the red zone.

Last season, UCF battled the critical drop by posting a 37% conversion rate that ranked No. 82 in the nation. Although he was mostly successful in the red zone, scoring 84% of the time (tied for No.57), there is room for improvement.

“If we’re going into a red zone situation, let’s make sure we understand, what are we thinking when we go into the red zone,” offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey told the Orlando Sentinel. “We have to make good decisions with the ball.

“Who can deal with these things and manage the management of the team from a communication point of view, it is a huge thing.

Lindsey, who is also a quarterbacks coach, insisted on simplicity when discussing the first scrimmage.

“What we really want to see is who can block and who can tackle, not who can plan best because we are a football team,” he said. “Attack and defence, we try to help each other.

“Who does the little things right? Who gets the right footwork that goes with any concept we throw in? It’s a big, all-encompassing thing that we always try to assess and see who does the best job. with all these things.

Email Jason Beede at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.

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