With eight starters returning on offense this season, including three who made the Conference USA All-Freshman team last year, the Knights hope to have one of the top offensive units in the league.
Sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles will lead UCF's offensive attack. Last season, in limited playing time, Bortles threw for 958 yards and six touchdowns. Thursday's season opener at Akron will be Bortles' first start of his college career.
"It seems like he made a big step as far as leadership is concerned and knowledge on the field," senior fullback Billy Giovanetti said. "He's our leader and he's really shown that he knows what to do on the field and how to lead our team to score points."
UCF's roster has a total of 69 career rushing touchdowns returning, which is the most for any Conference USA team. The Knights also have arguably their most talented backfield in school history with Latavius Murray, Brynn Harvey and Storm Johnson.
Murray was the Knights' leading rusher last season and Harvey was the team's leading rusher in 2008 and 2009. Johnson was one of the University of Miami's top running backs in the 2010 recruiting class before he transferred to UCF. He is now eligible after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
That talented trio, along with returning receivers Quincy McDuffie, Josh Reese, Rannell Hall and J.J. Worton, has been making the defense's job more difficult during practice.
"Instead of having one explosive guy on the field, they probably have three at a time now," senior defensive back Kemal Ishmael said. "They're hitting us with a combo, one-two punch."
That group of players isn't the only reason the Knights have looked impressive on offense through fall camp. The ball is getting in the hands of their playmakers.
"In ways there are changes [in the playbook], but in ways there are not. We're utilizing our personnel in the best way we can and putting the best players on the field who can make plays," Giovanetti said. "The team is really working together for a common goal and that's to get to the championship and win all of our games. Akron is the first team in the way. That's what's on our mind right now."