The Central Florida Knights are coming off a wildly successful 2013 season where they finished 12-1 on the year and won a BCS bowl in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. For UCF, the road to similar success in 2014 will be tough not only because the AAC is no longer considered a “power conference” as college football transitions to a playoff system, but also because the team must replace their talented leader at quarterback Blake Bortles. Can Justin Holman step up and take the reins?
Holman is the most experienced member of the quarterback group for 2014 and came out of spring practice with a narrow lead for the starting job this fall. He served as the primary backup to Bortles as a freshman last year and saw action in three game, completing 9-of-14 passes for 75 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Holman also offers a bit of dual-threat capability, averaging 5.71 yards per carry last season.
However, the starting job is not Holman’s just yet. He was pushed during the spring by redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo and true freshman Tyler Harris and will have to deal with Boise State Broncos transfer Nick Patti as well this fall. Patti could be the top challenger for Holman in 2014 thanks his one year of college experience and a waiver that will allow him to play right away at UCF.
While the quarterback race is still up in the air, the job is ultimately Holman’s to lose. His experience in the offense last season will help him and he has the most upside and strongest arm of the group this season. If he wants to lock down the No. 1 quarterback job, however, he’ll need to step it up this fall and prove he’s the man to lead the Knights in 2014.