On Sunday, George O'Leary named redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo UCF's starting quarterback going into the first game of the 2014 season. DiNovo hasn't recorded anything in the books for the Knights beyond scout-team work, being named the 2013 Scout Team Player of the Year.
This lack of experience on the field is a bit of a concern for some in relation to UCF's continued success.
But having nine returning starters and 20 seniors on the roster alone is plenty of experience to help DiNovo.
In the spring, J.J. Worton said that the maturity of the UCF offense is a good thing for the young quarterbacks.
"Since we're all veterans in the huddle and they're younger, they come in and they feel more at ease around us because they know we know our assignments, so all they have to do it focus on what they have to do. I think its good work for all of them," Worton said.
DiNovo beat out now-backup quarterback sophomore Justin Holman, who did see some playing time last season and Boise State transfer Nick Patti.
In the three games he played in, Holman went 9-for-14 with a touchdown and interception. Holman looked to be the front-runner, as he got the most playing time in the spring game.
DiNovo has developed his arm throughout this summer and it has paid off.
He also has an experienced offense to help foster his development. He has the luxury of one of, if not the best, receiving units in the conference. Senior wide receiver Rannell Hall is among the group of returning starters and led all receivers last season with 57 receptions for 886 yards. Worton recorded a team-high seven touchdowns in 2013 and was named to the All-American Athletic Conference second team.
At the start of camp, Josh Reese said that the chemistry built among the offense means a lot to the team and the success of the quarterback.
Reese and other players, such as left tackle Torrian Wilson, understand how important their experience is to DiNovo's role.
"That chemistry means a lot because we can just get those younger guys and whoever the quarterback may be and just tell them that we're here for them, and [that] they can know that we have a brotherhood and know that they can carry on and keep going," Reese said.
"It's wonderful. If he is feeling low, or down, or something, we're there to pick him up. He can count on us. If something is not right, if he's not reading the right defense or if he's not seeing whose blitzing, we can be like 'Pete, look over there,' just giving him a little confidence," Wilson said.
No great quarterback ever came in with all the experience. But the progress DiNovo has shown in the last few months is a big step in the right direction to where he should be and where he can go with the support around him.