The UCF defense was downright average, except they were particularly good at preventing big plays, particularly in the passing game - opponents managed only 25+ yards on 3% of pass plays.
With Latavius Murray out, UCF will turn to Storm Johnson at running back. If 2012 is any indication, Johnson won't be able to carry the load. Instead, UCF will need Bortles to take another step forward at quarterback, but that won't be enough if they suffer some regression in turnovers and penalties.
The 2012 UCF defense was overrated. Opponents averaged only 22 points per game but did that on 11 possessions per game. After suffering some key losses and barring an incredible coaching job, the defense will undoubtedly take a step backwards and slip below average nationally. On the whole, the Knights could be looking at a minor step back from 2012.