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Grading UCF Through Seven Games

What areas of the Knights roster have excelled and what spots need a lot of work down the stretch?

Holman gives a thumbs up to the crowd after a 34-14 win over Temple
Holman gives a thumbs up to the crowd after a 34-14 win over Temple
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

With seven games in the books, there is more than enough sample size to grade the performance of the Knights, unit by unit.What areas of the Knights roster have excelled and what spots need a lot of work down the stretch?

Quarterbacks - B - Many people are grading this position on the Bortles curve, which is entirely unfair.  While the Pete DiNovo experiment was a disaster, Justin Holman has been good enough and shown some flashes of brilliance.  More consistency would equal a higher grade.

Running Backs - C - Will Stanback may just be getting healthy and that would be good news for a unit that has underperformed.  The offensive line certainly contributes to their woes, but Stanback and Dontravious Wilson have lacked the burst or vision necessary so far to excel.

Wide Receivers - A -The quartet of Breshad Perriman, Rannell Hall, J.J. Worton, and Josh Reese has been as advertised in 2014.  Each has had their moment to shine.  With Holman's growing confidence in the offense, Knights fans should expect even more spectacular plays to come from his receivers.

Tight Ends - ? - UCF may have a few good tight ends in Justin Tukes and Kevin Miller, but rarely do they register when one evaluates this football team.  George O'Leary's teams rarely use the tight end in passing situations, so blocking becomes their only place to shine.

Offensive Line - F - The departure of three starting offensive linemen from the Fiesta Bowl team clearly was not stressed enough in preseason.  The Knights have had a hard time nailing down a consistent five to start on the line and center Joey Grant has been hobbled by injuries all year long.  This group has the physical attributes to be successful, but may just have been too inexperienced to expect anything great.

Defensive Line - B+ - The defensive line may be the most improved unit on either side of the ball.  Thomas Niles has been the consistent pass rushing force UCF looked for all last season.  Both tackles have gotten good push and freshman Jamiyus Pittman has shown flashes to make Knights fans feel good about the future.

Linebackers - A - This group has taken on the personality of senior Terrance Plummer and brings it every time out.  Troy Gray has been the best player on defense that no one talks about.

Defensive Backs - A - The secondary gets a lot of recognition and rightly so.  Clayton Geathers and Brandon Alexander should get NFL looks after the season.  Jacoby Glenn has solidified his lockdown corner status and his five interceptions have raised eyebrows across the country.

Specialists - B - - This is a mixed bag simply because of the range of areas the specialist tag covers.  Hall has picked up where he left off as one of the nation's best return men.  On the other hand, O'Leary has been very disappointed with the kicking of Shawn Moffitt and the punting of Caleb Houston.