It’s not unusual for the UCF Knights to see coach Scott Frost in cleats taking special teams reps with the team on Fridays.
That’s just a benefit of having a relatively young coach who is still in playing shape. But this week Frost is stepping it up and lining up as the scout quarterback in order to give his defense the best look at what it will be living facing with Navy’s triple-option offense and standout quarterback Zach Abey.
Frost, of course was once the Nebraska Cornhuskers' star option quarterback in the 1990s.
“You see him in there running around getting us prepared,” UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin said Monday. “It’s crazy because he is running so fast that if you are slacking it’s going to show. When you see Coach Frost out running you you know you are doing something wrong. It’s kind of good when you can get a good look from your head coach. It makes you work that much harder.”
Frost, who wore a chin strap-less helmet during Monday morning’s practice, downplayed his involvement as the scout team quarterback.
“We’re going to use quite a few different guys to try to get our guys ready,” said Frost, whose 20th-ranked and undefeated Knights travel to face Navy on Saturday in Annapolis, Md in an American Athletic Conference showdown. “Anything you can do. It’s hard to simulate their looks, especially at the tempo they run it and with the execution they run it so we will do whatever we have to try to get the guys ready.”
The Midshipmen have the top-ranked rushing defense in the nation, averaging 397.5 yards per game on the ground. Abey, the nation’s fourth-leading rusher with 1,016 yards in the Midshipmen’s first six games, is the key to making the offense go.
Abey has rushed for over 100 yards in all six games and went over 200 yards in wins over Florida Atlantic and Air Force this season.
While Frost insists facing Navy’s triple-option is like facing any other offense, he admits he still has a love for option football in this spread offense era. His Knights throw the ball around a lot and have the nation’s top scoring offense (50.6 points per game) and fifth best total offense (547.2 yards per game.
“I love option football,” Frost said. “I lived it. I feel like option quarterbacks now are kind of like giant pandas, they only exist in zoos and military academies now.
“(The Midshipmen) have a good quarterback, he’s what makes their offense go. He is a tough runner, he’s smart, makes good decisions.”