UCF took a big hit when defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable decided to leave to become linebackers coach at Wisconsin. In his three seasons as coordinator in Orlando, the Knights had one of the best defenses in Conference USA and one of the best run defenses in the country.
Here are some stats to prove it.
2008: Ranked first in Conference USA in three categories -- rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and tackles for loss. UCF recorded 8.62 tackles for loss per game, which ranked third in the country. The Knights were second in the league in total defense (333.75 yards).
2009: Led C-USA in total, scoring and rushing defense along with sacks and tackles for loss. The rush defense ranked No. 4 in the nation, allowing 82.77 yards a game, and ranking behind Texas, Alabama and TCU.
2010: Led C-USA in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense, along with pass efficiency defense and sacks. The rush defense ranked No. 8 in the country (108.36).
Anybody who watched UCF's 10-6 win over Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl knows what a great job Huxtable has done at UCF. He got my unsung hero award in the instant analysis off the game after the Knights held the Bulldogs to single-digits in scoring. Georgia went into the game having scored 30 points in seven straight games.
He also had a big impact on his players, helping mold Bruce Miller into the two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. Defensive tackle Torrell Troup was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2010.