UCF defensive line coach Jim Panagos was named the Defensive Line Coach of the Year on Wednesday by FootballScoop.com. He beat out Dan McCarney of Florida and Chris Rumph of Clemson for the honor.

UCF is 8-4 and will face Rutgers on Saturday in the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef ‘O’Brady’s and the stellar play of the team’s defense, and its defensive line in particular, is a large reason why. UCF leads Conference USA in rushing, total and scoring defense in addition to sacks and tackles for loss.

“This isn’t about me,” Panagos said. “It’s a team award. It’s about all of our defensive coaches. If our secondary doesn’t cover or if our linebackers don’t support like they do then we wouldn’t have some of these great numbers. I especially have to thank George O’Leary for giving me the opportunity and for all that he has taught me about defensive line which he did such a great job coaching himself as a young assistant.”

UCF’s 82.5 yards per game of rushing defense ranks fourth in the nation behind only Texas, Alabama and TCU. The Knights are also fifth nationally in sacks and 11th in TFLs.

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