After an 0-12 season, it came as little surprise that UCF was picked to finish last in the American Athletic Conference.

A resounding road win against East Carolina shows that the Knights are a much different team than people expected.

“I didn’t know how many wins our progress would equate to and I still don’t know,” UCF coach Scott Frost said. “I feel good about where we are the direction that we’re headed in.”

The Knights defense forced five turnovers in Saturday’s 47-29 win at East Carolina.

“I think the whole team has a chip on their shoulder so I think as a defense, we’ve been playing good but I don’t think we’re at where we want to be at and we can do better,” senior defensive back T.J. Mutcherson said.

Forcing more turnovers is a big priority for Frost and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and that unit is responding. The Knights generated 13 takeaways all of last season and they’ve already got nine this year.

“If you look at how far that defense has come and what they’re doing on the field every Saturday, I couldn’t be more excited about the job they’ve done – the players and the coaches,” Frost said.

That improved defense will be put to the test this Friday against Tulane. The Green Wave is third in the AAC in rushing at nearly 250 yards per game.

Kickoff for Friday’s game is 7:30 and it will be televised on ESPNU.