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Let's REALLY Compare 2013 UCF Football to 2017 UCF Football

"We'd have run them out of the stadium." - Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) and McKenzie Milton (Derek Warden)
Blake Bortles (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) and McKenzie Milton (Derek Warden)

When asked which UCF Football team would win between his 2013 squad and the 2017 team, Blake Bortles had this to say to Calais Campbell:

[Side note: Blake is 6'5" and look at how short he is compared to Calais. Dang.]

We'll never know if he's right, unfortunately, but we can compare.

Let's take a look at the stats:

Stat 2017 UCF 2013 UCF
Record 13-0 12-1
Conference W/L 8-0 8-0
Opponents' W% .518 .456
P5 W/L 2-0 2-1
Points/Game 48.2 34.6
Points Against/Game 25.3 21.3
Differential +22.9 +13.3
Final AP Rank #6 #10
Final Coaches' Rank #7 #12

Hmm. Not a great case for Blake & Co.

How about offense:

Stat 2017 UCF 2013 UCF
Plays
Run/Pass 54%/46% 54%/46%
Yards/Play 7.5 6.6
Yards/Game 530.5 441.5
Time of Possession 28:05 32:12
First Downs 327 291
Third Down % 45% 49%
Red Zone %/TD% 85%/70%

87%/60%

Penalties/Game 8.4 4.8
Rushing
Rush Yds/Game 198.7 159.9
Rush TD 39 28
Yds/Rush 5.2 4.4
Passing
Pass Yds/Game 331.8 281.6
Comp % 67.7% 66.5%
Yds/Att 10.2 9.1
Pass TD 38 26
Sacks Allowed 13 22
Turnovers
INTs 9 11
Fum Lost 6 10

I guess George O'Leary would have been happy with the fewer penalties and slightly better third-down percentage. Not much else for him to brag about here.

How about Defense?

Stat 2017 UCF 2013 UCF
Plays Allowed
Run/Pass 51%/49% 46%/54%
Yards/Play 5.7 5.4
Yards/Game 427.9 362.0
First Downs 280 248
Third Down % 41% 41%
Red Zone %/TD% 85%/60% 74%/68%
Rushing Allowed
Rush Yds/Game 159.8 122.5
Rush TD 16 21
Yds/Rush 4.2 4.0
Passing Allowed
Pass Yds/Game 268.1 239.5
Comp % 55.4% 56.8%
Yds/Att 7.4 6.5
Pass TD 24 13
Sacks 27 29
Turnovers Forced
INTs 20 14
Fum Recovered 12 12

This is where the 2013 team has the better case. However, it's also important to know that they faced easier competition that wasn't as high-octane on offense as what the 2017 team faced.

For the hell of it, let's do special teams:

Stat 2017 UCF 2013 UCF
Punts/Game 3.5 3.3
Yards/Punt 39.6 39.9
FG 13/18 21/24
Extra Points 80/81 53/53
2XP 1/3 1/2
Punt Return Avg. 14.7 10.8
Punt Return Avg Allowed 6.8 5.1
Kickoff Return Avg. 24.8 22.5
Kickoff Return Allowed 20.4 20.3
Kickoff TB % 22% 28%

Special teams is more or less a wash but I'd give the slight edge to 2013 in the field goal department, although 2017's return game was certainly better.

So if you're asking me to crank up the Madden Machine and put 2013 UCF vs. 2017 UCF, I'm running with the 2017 Knights to get the head-to-head victory based on their sheer explosiveness.

Sorry, Blake.