The UCF rushing offense is stuck in neutral.
While UCF has righted the ship and turned its season around by going on a three-game winning streak, it has relied heavily on a defense playing as well as any in the conference and the occasional big play in the passing game.
Collectively, the Knights are averaging 3.7 yards per carry when you eliminate sack yards. Last season, Storm Johnson averaged 5.3 yards per carry and William Stanback ran at a clip of 4.2 yards per carry.
"In this program, we're not going to rely on 51 throws to win games," head coach George O'Leary said. "If we are, we're in trouble."
Thus far, UCF has maintained about a 50/50 run-to-pass ratio, but sits 114 out of 125 Division I teams in rushing.
"People who win championships can stop the run and run the ball," O'Leary said.
In 2014, the Knights have excelled at just one of these things. Luckily for UCF, championships aren't handed out in October.
The issues in the running game are collective. The offensive line has been in flux through five games of the season. Late in the game against BYU, offensive line coach Brent Key moved starting center Joey Grant to left guard, and entered Jason Rae into the game at center.
While O'Leary was happy with the results, he said Monday that Grant is back at his natural center position this week in the lead up to facing Tulane.
The backfield also hasn't been able to get moving, as UCF's top two running backs average just more than 3 yards per carry collectively.
"I thought William ran better [against BYU]," O'Leary said. "I still don't see that burst that we saw all last year, so we've got to keep working on getting some things done there."
The good news for the Knights is that they face Tulane, which has the 83rd-best run defense in the nation, and are surrendering 4.3 yards per carry this season.
With just conference opponents remaining on the schedule, the UCF running game has a chance to get back on track. The Knights play just one top-40 rushing defense the rest of the way — with that coming against East Carolina, ranked 14th against the run — in the final game of the season.
Offensive lines typically take time to gel, and also typically take time to reach their full potentials. Any line that loses three players to the NFL is going to take time to piece together a starting five the following year.
"You block people with your feet," O'Leary said. "I think we're doing too much hand play and overstepping a few things, which we have to get corrected."
In an attempt to get the running game on track, the Knights appeared to use more two tight end sets, and also involved Joseph Puopolo as an h-back.
For the offense, and Holman, to reach their full potential, the UCF running game needs to shift into third or even fourth gear.
Jazmyne Hankerson contributed to this report.