UCF Football is not messing around this off-season. The Knights have already added a handful of highly ranked transfers, including one of the most sought-after quarterbacks, KJ Jefferson, from Arkansas.
On Wednesday, UCF announced another addition that can immediately bring an impact to the defense. Ted Roof, who has a coaching resume longer than almost anyone in college football (seriously, see below), has officially joined UCF as the new defensive coordinator.
If the name sounds familiar to UCF fans, it is because Roof actually was hired to be the DC back in 2011; however, after just a few weeks, he left for the same position at Penn State.
New Defensive Coordinator at UCF Ted Roof has a TON of collegiate football coaching experience.
I think this amount of experience is exactly what that side of the ball needed going into 2024.
How are we feeling about this hire? pic.twitter.com/Hg22XVXvOG
— 🛸Austin 🛸 (@AustinHeff) January 17, 2024
Ted Roof Has Seen it All
In total, Roof has been part of 12 different teams, all of which, except App State, have been at the P5 level. He was the Head Coach at Duke for three seasons; however, he really struggled and only led the team to six wins combined. However, that should in no way take away at all from what Ted Roof has done in his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball.
Roof has consistently coached Top 30 defenses despite not coaching for blueblood programs. He was able to have Top 30 defenses at Georgia Tech, Duke, Minnesota, Auburn, Penn State, and Oklahoma. Roof was the defensive coordinator for Auburn when they won the 2011 BCS National Championship at the same time that now Head Coach Gus Malzhan was the offensive coordinator.
Most recently, while with Oklahoma in 2023, the Sooners ranked 3rd nationally in turnovers and 7th in tackles for loss. Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t what it had been in the past and the team dropped four games. Roof and Oklahoma mutually parted ways.
Ted Roof’s Accolades
Rather than continuing to write out all of his achievements in long-form, here is a brief summary of his success at different schools according to UCF athletics:
• Broyles Award nominee at three different schools
• No. 1 conference ranking in rushing defense at three different schools
• Top 11 in third-down defense at three different schools
• Top 25 in scoring defense at three different schools
• 2019: Led the NCAA in defensive touchdowns
• 2014: Set the NCAA record for takeaways per possession (26%)
• 2012: Led the NCAA in red zone defense
UCF Looking For A Defensive Boost
UCF’s defense was not great this year ranking 81st out of 134 teams in yards given up per game, 89th in yards given up per game, and 68th in opponent touchdowns per game. In a league where offense is king, it is essential to get more stops to have a chance to win.
In Big 12 play, the Knights gave up 51, 44, 41, 36, 31, and 24 points in their six Big 12 losses, or 37.8 points per game. In their three Big 12 wins, they gave up an average of 14 points. This shows that the defense is capable of playing well. However, they can get broken down and lose all control. The 23.8-point differential between wins and losses says this about as clearly as any other stat.
The Ted Roof defense is known primarily for two things: Takeaways and tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
I’m not a defensive coordinator, but I feel pretty confident in saying that when you take possessions away from the other team and force 2nd and 3rd and longs, it leads to fewer scoring opportunities than just about any other two statistics.
UCF will open up their season next year against New Hampshire before traveling a few hours north to play in The Swamp against the Florida Gators.
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