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Topics - BRJACR75

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1
I still have to call the ticket office and figure out where we will be allowed to tailgate (I will update of course) but if there are any UBFan members going to be at the game and wish to join BCBull, BrandedBull, Vernadaman, and myself, your more than welcome to come on over meet some other members, have a beverage, shoot the shaq, get autographs from the two celebrities, listen to verandaman's tales of his travels, and while away the hours until UB kicks Bowling Green's asses up and down the field at 1:30.

We'll call it the Unofficial/Official UBFan pre celebration of the MAC East Title Game.

2
Ohio is eliminated from contention with their third conference loss to Bowling Green.  There is no way for that severely overrated team to catch the eventual MAC East winner.  So to those paper tigers, or paper bobcats in this case, thanks for playing kids, you suck!!!!

Buffalo and Bowling Green; tied with a 5-1 conference record going into next week.  Both teams path to the MAC EAst title are the same.  Buffalo plays @ Miami, BG is @ EMU.  The only thing left to determine is do you want an outright MAC East Title and a trip to the Championship game, or a shared MAC East Title with a trip to the MAC Championship game via tiebreaker.

From UB's perspective only

OUTRIGHT

1.  Both teams win next week, stay tied, winner of the final game is the Outright Champ.

2.  UB wins @ Miami, while Bowling Green Loses @ EMU (I laughed typing that, but its possible).  UB goes into the final game up one game in the standings and with a win, is outright MAC East Champs.

3.  Both UB and Bowling Green Lose next week, they stay tied in the standings, winner of the final game is the Outright Champ.

Shared MAC East title; winner goes to MAC Championship game via tiebreak

1.  UB somehow manages to lose to Miami and Bowling Green wins @ EMU.  Bowling Green goes into the final game up one game.  IF UB beats Bowling Green in that final game, they will both again be tied in the standings and UB would go to the MAC Championship game because they would hold the head to head tiebreak over Bowling Green, while sharing the MAC East Title with Bowling Green on paper.


IMHO, the only difference I possibly see between being outright champ or sharing the title is when it comes to bowl invites.  Is it guaranteed that both participants in the MAC Championship Game automatically go to a Bowl?  If it is, well nevermind.  If not, then I think having an outright division championship looks better on the resume than a shared one and "via tiebreaker."  In addition, because of the perception that the MAC West is worlds better than the MAC East, I can see the three teams in the West, NIU, Ball State, and Toledo, getting the three bowl spots before UB and Bowling Green, no matter who represents the MAC East.  Also, not saying this is going to happen, but who ever represents the MAC East in the Championship game, and they got there because of the tiebreaker, and they lose in the Championship Game, I can see a scenario where the team that lost the tiebreaker getting an invite over the team that did go to Detroit, because for all intents and purposes, they are MAC East Champs too, and why not give them a shot.






3
Buffalo Bulls Football / Ohio Game: HUGE!!!!!! UB and the MAC East
« on: October 28, 2013, 01:11:56 PM »
First of all, does anybody have any idea if the MAC tiebreakers have changed since 2007?  Thats the latest Ive been able to find.

Its been two weeks since I really looked at this, and with the wins against UMASS and Kent, UB still holds their destiny firmly in their hands and needs no help from anybody at this point to win the MAC East.  Obviously, If loses occur, depending on who it is too, will start taking away that advantage they now have.

This Ohio game is as huge a game as will come this year.  Even more than the Bowling Green at the end of the season depending on what happens down the stretch.  But there are so many potential tiebreakers attached to this Ohio game, that a win really puts UB in a good spot for the East, and a loss will hurt a great deal.

Purely from UB's perspective, best case scenario.....

Lets get the @ Miami out of the way now, there is no excuse for UB to lose this game, none what so ever.....Can it happen, sure it can....but considering what UB has done to other similar teams this season, Miami shouldnt be any different. 

Ohio -  This is whats at stake.  1. Overall conference record, 2.  Head to head tiebreaker and 3.  the inner-division record tiebreaker, all three hugely important in figuring two or three way ties.  A UB win gives Ohio 2 conference loss, the head to head tiebreak over Ohio and gives Ohio their first inner-division loss. 

@Toledo - Actually this game remain relatively unimportant, a loss doesnt hurt too much, and a win will have some big benefit.

The bigger game this week, which is being played the same day and time is Ohio @ Bowling Green.  If Ohio wins, that will keep them at 2 conference losses, give them the head to head advantage over BG, and give Bowling Green their second conference loss and their first loss inner-division.  If Bowling Green Wins, they will hold the head to head tiebreaker over Ohio and if somehow their is a three way tie between UB, Ohio, and BG, Ohio get eliminated.  Ohio will have their third conference loss and second inner divisional loss.

Whats this all mean for UB.  A UB Win combined with an Ohio win, UB stays two games ahead of both Ohio and Bowling Green with two to go and if UB defeats Miami the following week, UB is MAC East Champions regardless of the final game.

A UB win combined with a Bowling Green Win- Ohio is eliminated from the picture as far as UB is concerned and Bowling Green remains a game behind UB in conference standing.

A UB loss combined with an Ohio Win- UB stays one game ahead of both Ohio and Bowling Green.

A UB loss combined with a Bowling Green Win - UB stays two games ahead of Ohio but will then be tied with Bowling Green in conference record.

Bowling Green - with the best case scenario being UB beating Miami the previous week, and depending on the circumstances of UB's Toledo game and Ohio @ Bowling Green, this game can mean absolutely nothing or it might be for all the marbles.

Like I said, this is best case scenario from UB's perspective.  Alot can happen in other games that can affect it all, but UB sits in a really good spot right now, and it pretty obvious how this lays out just how important this Ohio game is for UB.


4
....and then beat you too death with them.

That pretty much sums up yesterdays game.  Honestly, all week I had a pretty good idea that that was what we were gonna see yesterday.  Im not big on excuse making, in fact Im usually the first one to go ape shaq when the excuse du'jour starts getting thrown around willy nilly, so I do realize alot of what Im about to say will sound like weak attempts at excuse making.

I never expected UB to win this game in Baylor.  I wasnt exactly expecting a total throttling, but considering what UB had going against them, its not really that surprising after the fact.  First of all, no matter how you slice it, Baylor is a good team.  Maybe a little more on offense than defense, but still.  With Baylor at #23, UB was facing another ranked opponent, and after watching the game, that #23 doesnt do Baylor justice.  Secondly, I know its still early in the season, but after putting in that great effort at Ohio State, which would expend alot of energy doing that, only to have to turn around and go on the road again, thats a tough thing to do.   Lastly, you cant discount the weather either.  We saw the toll the heat took on Ohio State last week, and yes UB trainers did a great job handling it.  But in Baylor, the heat was turned up to a whole different level.  Sure the outside air was a balmy high 90s, but I heard on the pregame that thermometers were reading 120 on the field.  That is insane and nothing UB has ever seen, not even when UB played UTEP in 2009 (night game).  Take all these in combination, and your asking for disaster.  And we havent even started on the game yet.

OFFENSE

There was no way UB's offense, or offensive coaches, were going to keep pace with the points Baylors offense was putting up.  NO WAY.  Honestly, by the end of the second quarter, I was getting more concerned with UB getting out of the game in tact than looking respectable.  I guess this could go for the defense as well.  When your that overmatched, and your struggling to make the simplest of plays, just to make it through the game in relatively good health is a bright spot.  We could have seen the whole season go up in smoke had UB forced the issue and didnt wave the white flag.

Why are there designed runs for Licata?  Ill just leave that there.

The only bright spot offensively, is Neutz is unstoppable.  And just think he's doing all this without any help from any other receiver. 

DEFENSE

I feel really bad for Stony Brook.  I have to imagine that there is going to be some pissed off players on the defensive side of the ball next week. 

Heres the thing about the defense, UB just doesnt have the speed to keep up with Baylor.  Usually when track stars play football, one of the usual knocks against them is that they cant catch the ball as well as they can cover ground.  Unfortunately, Baylor as a receiving corp that not only runs like the wind but catch the ball as well.  Who on UB can cover that?  Way, way overmatched.  Unless a team as speed to match in their defensive back field, the only thing that will stop them is their selves.

I knew Baylor had a decent offense, I had no idea just how prolific they were until watching the game.  I have been watching football for 30 years, and I have never seen an offense run so efficiently.  Here's whats truly amazing, think about this if you will, the Baylor Bears took the same amount of time between plays as it took you to read this sentence.  Seriously, count it out as you read it, give or take a couple of seconds.  Thats amazingly fast, and an awfully hard thing for the defensive coaches to gameplan around, not to mention the players having to deal with out on the field in 120 degrees.  You just go full speed for 5 seconds, your running to get into position for the next play, and Baylor is already there waiting to go.  Imagine that, over and over again.

SPECIAL TEAMS
 Your reprieved until UCONN

It sucks that after their great effort at Ohio State, UB couldnt at least maintain some of the momentum at Baylor.  Its really tough to do that when your so out classed.  But Im not going to be down to much about this game, just like I wont be too up after the stomping Stony Brook is about to receive next week.  Lets just get to UCONN 1-2, and then truly see where this season will end up going.

GO BULLS!!!!!!!!


5
Buffalo Bulls Football / Sunday Morning Thoughts: The Game....
« on: September 01, 2013, 01:13:49 PM »
I have to admit, Ive found it very hard to garner any interest in UB Football this off season.  With "Blue and White Fund Special Seating" and "Loyalty Points" and "Shareholder Societies" and "Club Seats" and "New York Bulls"  and with every "OMG, Big Time" and "OMG, Fieldhouse" and "OMG, Danny White", every "Screw The Locals", every "WNYers are the problem", every "Just get over it" flying at me from every direction, with each new "scheme", my excitement for UB football dimmed.   With renewing my season tickets being a headache of its own, being shuffled off to yet another new parking lot, and the only thing making Gameday worth it at that point was the people at the tailgate, and not knowing as of yesterday morning if Id even be writing Sunday Morning Thoughts this morning, I just didnt have the excitement I should of had for the opening game of the season.

I ended up DVRing the football game.  My son, who started Youth Football this year, had a fundraiser at Wal Mart, and even though my wife begged me to stay home and watch the game, I figured, "meh, why, Ill just watch it later."  Once the fundraiser was over, we had one of his teammates come over to swim and have a cookout.  While they swam, and got the fire going, I decided since I was just sitting watching the fire and making sure the boys werent drowning each other in the pool, I got the old radio out and tuned into the game.  It was right before halftime, so I didnt really have any clue what had happened up till then.  I knew the score was 13 -30, figured that sounded about right, and went about my business.  The second half started,OSU with the ball, big third down, and Gilbo (who?) sacks Miller, forces the fumble and three and outs OSU.  UB takes the ball, and drives the field and scores and gets it within 10.  Im thinking holy crap, that was easy, poor Joey was way off.  And then it happened.  There was  UB's 11 on defense, and OSU's 11 on offense, there was Braxton Miller getting rushed, getting hit, losing the Ball, UB recovering, and me jumping out of my chair and pumping my fist and bellowing "Yes."  Of course the penalty happened and OSU went on to score, but in that moment, there wasnt any of "White's Schemes" or "New York Bulls" Bullshaq, or anything else, there was only The Game.  UB gets the ball right back, drives the field AGAIN, gets 1st and goal at the OSU 3, and a chance to get within 10 again.  before the first down play, Im up out of my seat pacing, "run the damn ball", BO for 1.  2nd down, "what the hell are you doing Quinn getting cute, line em up, knock them on asses and run it in."  TIMEOUT, "oh for cripes sakes it isnt rocket science, know what your gonna do"  3rd down.  "Come on, come on, come on, get in, damn it"  "go for it."  4th down, "crap, lets get the ball back."  I laughed to myself, the boys were watching me, but there it was again, The Game.  We all know how the game went on from there.  I was pretty proud of those New York STATE Bulls.  Rolling into #2 Ohio State, giving them some fits, staying healthy, making the Buckeyes and Urbz and the worst fans in College Football sweat (how else do you explain the Buckeyes going down with cramping and Urbz keeping his Heisman candidate in the entire game).  And so, because of The Game, I figure waht the hell....

After sitting down and watching the game last night, I dont have very many things bad to say.  After going down big in the first quarter, UB didnt quit and showed some fight.  After 2007's game at Penn State, this game here was my favorite UB vs. Big Boy game by far.  Had UB scored in the fourth quarter when they had it on the OSU 3, this game would have been tops.  Just listening to the game I had goosebumps at times, and when it ended, I was proud of the effort.  When I watched it and saw how the first half went, just reaffirmed how proud I was of them.

OFFENSE

Do you realize that Licata was listed as one of the top performers in the games E$PiN box score?  In fact UB had two of the three top performers.  His long range throws need a bit of sharpening, but his mid range stuff is accurate as hell.  It might of helped that he was throwing to #19.  The interception, though tipped, was high and lacked some touch.  Yea Campbell probably should have caught it, since it went through his hands, but it wasnt the most perfect of throws.  With that said, Licata did a much better job on the pass to Campbell that set UB up at the OSU 3.  I was really impressed that Licata really looked the part considering he was on the biggest stage he has seen since coming to UB.  Im excited that UB might actually have a QB.

BO had an un-BO-Like day, at least by what we are used to seeing.  But lets face it, UB lost its Fullback, no matter how young OSU's front seven are, they arent slouches, its kind of was expected.  I can say this though, UB stuck with the run game, and as the game wore on, were able to make better headway on the ground.  Which is a credit to the Oline as well. 

Neutz was the other Top performer in the box score as well.  Neutz had a typical Neutz day.  If he can do this against OSU second stringers (who most likely be starting on any MAC team), what does that say for the rest of the season?  Fun.  Glad to see the tight end become part of the passing offense.  It will certainly open up the whole middle of the field to the offense and open things up for Neutz even more.  Hopefully by the UCONN game, a 2nd receiver will take a step forward. 

DEFENSE

Is it safe to say that UB might actually have depth in the front seven.  If you take away the two long runs by Hall, which I know you cant, but if you do, his rushing numbers are right there along with BO's.  Playmakers make plays, and considering one is a Heisman candidate, to see the few plays that Hall and Miller were able to rip off wasnt all that surprising, but UB held their own with the #2 team in the country remarkably well.   

Coverage wise, at least early on in the game, was miserable.  It seemed OSU's plan was to pick on Johnson.  But overall, again they held their with the #2 team in the country.

Mack.  He was the best player on the field for either team yesterday, hands down.  After finally seeing his pick 6 return, I still cant believe he even grabbed that ball out of thin air, not to mention outran them to the endzone.  For the life of me, I cant think of a reason why Urbz was being such a dick about not knowing his name.  Obviously, we all know he knows it, but it was like he was going out of his way not to say it.  Show some class and give credit where credit was due, asshat.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicking was strong, punting was strong (Grassman avg. 40 yards per kick).  Unfortunately UB will have to get better at kick coverage and returns, or at least improve. 

The UB training staff should step up and take a bow today.  While theyll have there hands full again next week in the Texas heat, seeing OSU players on their home turf going down because of dehydration, and not one UB player, somebody is doing a great job.

Im pretty excited to see how this Baylor game goes after yesterday.  Considering UB played a bit better against OSU than I originally thought, We'll see how it translates to Baylor.  Play like they did yesterday, they might very well give Baylor some cramps too. 

That UCONN game will be very telling of exactly what they have and what we have to look forward to this season.  If my memories of 2007 are correct, and my feelings about UB after they played Penn State, if yesterdays game is any indication, then we might very well have something special going on here. 

GO BULLS!!!!!!!

and

WHO ARE WE?........


Lastly, after watching the game, as I expected, the only thing that shows up on TV of the new patch on the front of the jerseys was the NEW YORK.  I wish, if things stay the way they are with the uniforms (patch on the front, UB on the helmet) and there is no name change for UB overall, that they redo that patch on the front, drop the small script Buffalo, and make the STATE UNIVERSITY OF part larger so it can be seen.  Would that be too much to ask?


6
Buffalo Bulls Football / Monday Morning Thoughts: Somnam-Bull-ism
« on: November 19, 2012, 11:10:43 AM »
Not to be confused with somnambulism, which is the sleep disorder known as "sleepwalking".  Nope, Somnam-Bull-ism is the condition that is playing a football game in a state of low consciousness.  The problem with that is you eventually wake up and remember who you are.  This UMASS game, as much as people want to paint it as something more than it is, was nothing more than another little brother vs. big brother matchup, and 9 times out of ten, big brother is going to win.  And thats what happened in the end, nothing more, nothing less than UB's third straight win.

I dont want to take anything away from UMASS either, but for the next few years they are going to be battling with a roster full of FCS talent against rosters full of FBS talent.  Its the way it is going to go for the next few years for them.  Its the same thing that we see when UB goes off and plays one of the big boy BCS teams.  They battle, keep it close, but then the sheer talent and athletic ability (ESPECIALLY in the trenches) inherent in the higher level team takes over and as the game wears on, they fall behind.  2007 - PSU, 2008 - Missouri, the International Bowl vs. UCONN, 2011- Pittsburgh.  This is nothing new, and its main reason why I didnt put to much weight on this game before the season, during the season, and in the future.  UB may have slowly come out of their stupor, but it was only a matter of time and when.  Three victories in a row, great.

OFFENSE
Licata managed the game well.  Although he does take sacks, you can tell he is developing an awareness in the pocket.  As much as I hate to say this, being that Tom Brady is his idle, thats one thing he can learn from watching him.  Know that I want to chop every finger off of both hands and gouge my eyes out, one thing he should learn from old noodle arm Tom Brady is that you dont have the arm strength to toss up a rainbow duck to the corner of the endzone without it getting picked.

Murie filled in admirably and was a beast on the final possession when UB ran the ball down UMASS's throats.  When UB needed to keep the clock moving AND finish that drive, Murie stepped up.  BUT, what I want to talk about even more is Rashad Jean.  What a day.  I love old time football with a fullback.  Rumbling, Stumbling, Im going to run through you, football.  I thought UB didnt need any Fullbacks? (Sorry couldnt resist).

Enough drops already.  Just flat out drive killers.  Off set with Neutz and Lee who both made some tough grabs, the receivers had an allright day.  To be commended was Weisers two point conversion catch.  Even though it was a great throw by Dennison, Weiser still high pointed it and picked off the DB's hat, that was a great catch for somebody not accustomed to being out there on that spot, and according to ESPiNs box score, doesnt get credit for it.  Well, ESPiN, I did.

Offensive line played great in the second half.  The fact that UB managed to run the ball so well as the game wore on shows that the OLine was able to start leaning on the UMASS front seven and move them at will.  That final touchdown drive was a credit to them.

DEFENSE
With a nod to Bull Trojan, I have no idea what Tepper is doing either.  Why play soft, especially against UMASS.  If they were an offensive juggernaut, maybe, but not UMASS.  Your boys up front have more talent than UMASS OLine, instead of wasting them in coverage, make the QB miserable having to pick himself up off the turf repeatedly.  As we saw, once the front got rolling, UMASS had no answers.  Again, in the trenches, the level of talent between the two teams shines through.

SPECIAL TEAMS
UB dodged a bullet on that muffed punt.  That could have been disasterous had UMASS managed to corral the ball.  Surely with the game as close as it was at that point, it would have breathed new life into UMASS.

Speaking of breathing new life into a team, the blocked punt did just that for UB, after the score on the return, which amazingly goes down as a punt return stat, UB woke up out of there sleepwalk.  I hate to think if things might have ended differently had that play not been made.

So now we are faced with the final game of the season.  This is a pivotal game for me in seeing what I should look forward too next year.  Some improvement.  This year was never about 4 wins for me (not with Morgan State AND UMASS on the schedule), it was about 5, maybe 6.  This three game winning streak has been great, and UB has played well, but theres still something that we havent seen from a Coach Quinn led team.  Thats going on the road against a quality opponent, and the 2012 Bowling Green Falcons are for sure that, and come home with a win.  If its about next year like I keep hearing, then UB going to have to show they can win on the road against some tough opponents.  No better time to start that than next Friday.

GO BULLS!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?????..........


7
And this time that first is a good first.  Take a moment to soak this in.....UB finally beat Western Michigan.....even the Liberty Head Coach cant even say that and he had two shots at them.  Well done Coach Quinn...

What a wonderful day for sport.  Not only do we get treated to a great football game and result, but many of us I assume took in a pretty good basketball game to beforehand.  Fire Reggie!!!!  Thats for you ChubbyHubby, LOL.  To full fill my basketball quota, how in the heck do you allow not 1, not 2, but 3 guys open for looks at a three pointer at the end of the game when you need a stop.  I suppose the chances of making a three pointer are significantly lower, and thats a worthy risk, but that open?  Thurston Howell III could of made it that wide open.  I will say this though, this young UB team was fun to watch, and Im looking forward to seeing them develop this year.

Now, last week I said I wanted to see UB take the scant momentum from the win over a meh Miami team, and take it a step beyond against a slightly better WMU team, just to be able to see what exactly we have to look forward too for the future.  I have to say, Im paying attention again.  Im not running around screaming like a little school girl about rainbows and lollipops and puppy dog tails, but I am paying attention.  Afterall, lets not forgot they are still no where near the top of the MAC, Bowl game is no where in sight, and they are still 3-7 and with no hope of getting to .500.  To put it easily, they are still a long way from the accomplishments of 2008.  Its easy to cling to the fact that UB did have a very difficult MAC schedule early, but that is still 4 MAC games against other teams in your own conference that your supposed to be able to compete against.  If that isnt happening and the losses are piling up, its not a positive reflection if the other teams that they are that good, its a negative reflection on UB that they are falling short of their stated goals for the athletic department.  With that being said, UB has something going here and moving in the right direction.  There are two games remaining, and an opportunity to make some noise, make the MAC sit up and take notice again, that a scheduled game against Buffalo isnt just another W in the win column.

OFFENSE
Is there a QB controvery?   Not for me, Licata plays.  Its that simple, and Im the one on here defending Zordich the loudest for the most part.  The kid is winning, leave him in.  Licata has given this offense a shot of life, and he seems fully capable of running it.  Most impressive from the game, when running backs were dropping like flies, he was still up to the task.  I honestly cant say the same thing about Zordich, though I still believe Zordich is a gamer and they need to find a spot for him to keep him on the field.  That would require some tough personnel decisions, and Im not really confident in Coach Quinns ability with that.  Nick Sizemore, keeping Patrick Clarke off the field last year, the Chazz-periment, and now seeing Licata come in do so well right from the start.  Theres only two negatives I took away from the game Saturday, one Ill get to later, but the fact that Im left wondering if Licata is this capable, wheres he been?

What a disappointing season for BO, just when he gets going, he gets hurt, just when he gets going again, he gets hurt.  Hopefully he'll be alright, because they need him.  Same can be said for Campbell who was having a monster day until he went down.  I dont think Ive ever seen a worse walk off than his after the injury.  Hoping for the best for both of them.  Mr.  Murie, if you will.

With the absence of a running game after the injuries, it was good to see the receivers step up and have there best game when the game was still at hand.  I think its pretty obvious, even though they would never say it, who they prefer throwing the ball.

Offensive line played a great game.  Had BO and Campbell not gone down, I do believe they would have been on pace for another 150+ yard rushing day, and did a great job keeping the pass rush at bey for Licata.

DEFENSE
They played absolutely great.  Look at this.  10 of WMU 17 drives went for less than 15 yards.  Those other 7, 3 ended in takeaways.  Thats huge, just like Lester three picks on the day.  Mr. Carder, meet Mr. Lester.  HA!

My other negative from the day.  Two games in a row now, the opponent has scored on three straight possessions at ease.  UB was up 17 with less than 3 and a half minutes left in the first half.  And by 2 and a half minutes into the third quarter, they were down 4.  Thats inexcusable, especially when you have halftime to settle everything down.  This is two games in a row now.  Plus their playing deep zone at the goalline.  Huh?  Now, you want to lose to UMASS, go out and do that again.  UB should be better than UMASS, considering UMASS is coming out of I-AA.  You want to know the easiest way to get beat by teams that your supposed to be better than, allowing teams to hang around by giving up touchdowns like that.

SPECIAL TEAMS
The only thing I have to say, as a race, we can go to Mars and laser a rock on its surface for cripes sake, but we cant figure out how to tell if a field goal is good or not.

I would complain about the officiating, but I will only say this, I wish that crew luck when they are in the NFL next year.

Its kind of a shocker that the home part of the football season is over and we wont be back out to the stadium until the spring game.  And it was great getting to see the Seniors get a big win in their last home game.  I would thank them for all their effort in their time at UB, but hell, they still have two games left to kick some ass.

Onto UMASS,

GO BULLS!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?........

8
Buffalo Bulls Football / Monday Morning Thoughts: Gift Horses
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:41:10 AM »
The old saying goes, "dont look a gift horse in the mouth."  In short, it means be happy with what youve been given, aka. a UB win.  We all should be happy with that.  The win over Miami (the Ohio sort) was a pretty good win for a UB team struggling just to find a bright spot.  Miami, the O-Hi-O sort, came into this game benefiting from a slightly easier early schedule than UB (although they did knock off Ohio at home, but perhaps the UB vs. Ohio game may have been different had it been played here too, plus its a rivalry game so there is that), the two teams were pretty much evenly matched.  And true to form in the Coach Quinn era, it was a good game that could have gone either way in the end, but UB made just enough plays to win in the end.

OFFENSE
If Licata can play like that every game, and continue to progress, there's no reason to take him out.  Was it perfect, no, was it 4 for 22 and the only reason there was 4 was because of a great catch by Neutz, no.  Joe had a very good game for his first start ever.  Yes he can throw the ball, I dont think that was a secret.  He is still going to need other players to step up and take the pressure off him.  I know everybody is going to be "oooo, sparkley" with Licata, because it was such a difference between him and Zordich, but in the end, between the two different skill sets, it 6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other.

As this game shows, the UB offense needs to gain the majority of their yards on the ground, whether that comes solely based on BO running for almost 200 yards himself, or a combination of him and Zordich running.  Take that away from UB, and the offense will grind to a halt, which we have seen.  While many of you have probably moved on from Zordich, I still believe that either him or Licata can win as long as the running game is working, heres why..

The receivers outside of Neutz dont get any seperation that can be read quickly enough to make them a viable target.  They do get open eventually, but the play is already breaking down in the backfield.  Remember, you dont have all day back there to keep scanning the field for somebody.  Hell, this is college football, your lucky if a QB can get through two.  So that leaves two options.

1.  Zordich has the ability to tuck and run and gain yards with his legs and maintain patience while he develops throwing, or 2. BO needs to run wild and/or the recevers are going to have to develop into something for Licata.  They both would benefit from having an option in the middle of the field like a TE.  There is a lot of empty space out there because teams dont fear that threat.  Also, have to catch the ball when its thrown to you. 

DEFENSE
Kept UB in the game.  The turnovers were a big plus.  But how do you give up 4th and 20, thats whistling while walking by the graveyard right there.

SPECIAL TEAMS
The snap gets botched, first thing out of my mouth, "Your a QB, throw it"  And Daniels did, and who was on the other end, low and behold Mr. Dennison.  Seems like it is always him.  That was a great heads up play by both of them, and kept the drive alive.

Coverage teams did a very good job "Cover A Damn Kick"

One of my favorite things in football is the stiff arm, especially when the defender melts into the ground after it.  Campbell's return was just what UB needed after letting Miami tie it up, and two....

Patrick Clarke.  Lou Tepper, you owe Clarke a huge thanks.  You watch this kid kick a field goal, and the baseball term, knocking the cover off the ball applies to his kicks.  All three field goal attempts, even the one he missed, are still gaining altitude when they're 40 +/- yards out.  That was a very big spot and it hardly phased him.  And then listening to him on the post game show while driving home, talk so nonchalantly about the whole thing, even better.  "Yea, I made a couple of adjustments, but I was good from there."  Thats a kicker.  I still wonder what took so long last season.

Dont look a gift horse in the mouth.  You know what, Im going to.  You can tell alot about a horse by looking at its teeth.  Its a good indication of how old a horse is and how healthy it is.  Well, thats where Im at going into the Western Michigan game.  Sure, UB won against a team they are on par with, but weve seen this before, now its time to see if they can take this forward against a team that might be a little better than them, but not that much.   Its due time for some positive progress. 

GO BULLS!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?......

9
Buffalo Bulls Football / Monday Morning Thoughts: How close is close?
« on: October 29, 2012, 12:49:47 PM »
Im driving home from the game Saturday night, listening to the guys do the post game show, trying to gloss over yet another loss.  The word "close" kept getting thrown around as a bastion of success.  "This team is close", "look at all these close games", "How much closer can this team get before they start turning these close losses into wins?" 

Close is defined in Webster's as being almost even, as in tally or score.  Im left wondering how long does being close go on being good enough.  You can go on being close until the cows come home, and your nothing more than close.  The Moon is close in the grand scheme of the universe, but its been close for eons.  Close is fine, when it eventually leads to something.  And usually you can just tell that that something is eventually going to happen.  The 2007 season was a prime example.  Sitting there watching the games, you just knew something good was happening.  I keep hearing how "next year" will be better.  Well, I can honestly say that I dont have that same feeling as I had in 2007.  Others may, and they are welcome to those feelings, Im just not seeing it.

Sitting with 1000, well 900 (too many Toledo fans on our side with their cow bells and chants) of your closest friends, we were treated to a decent game.  The weather, though alot more wetter than the Pitt game, but felt less colder and less windy (which could have been due to sitting in the West Stands, I admit).  However, I figured before the game that the weather down on the field would have a greater impact on Toledo than it did UB, and I was right.  The weather conditions slowed Toledo's offense to the point where the game would be close.  A stiff wind and a soaked and slick water logged ball will slow any passing attack.  It also lends itself to turnovers, especially when passes arent on target (turned into a touchdown by UB) and fumbles (which Toledo returned for a touchdown).  You cant have better weather conditions than UB had to pull off an upset (I cant believe I said that about another MAC team, pathetic) Slow down their vaunted offense, use your run game against there not so good defense (lets face it, UB bread and butter isnt passing) and let the defense keep the game close.  The game was there for the taking all game long.  But again, close doesnt get it done.

OFFENSE
You want Licata to get a shot?  Im willing to listen to why that is.  Really, I want to hear why in the comments.  IF he can develop into something, Im fine with it.  The problem is that word "develop."  Im not worried about his talent or being capable of that, Im pretty sure he could, I dont feel confident that him or any QB is going to develop.  Do we honestly believe that a gameplan can be put in place to suit whoever is out there?  Do we honestly believe that any QB can develop here?

With that being said if Zordich (yet another undeveloped QB) isnt the answere, can we please find a place to put him. You cant take that kind of heart off the field.  You just cant.  Let him play fullback for cripes sake.  But as we all know, what is a fullback?

as for the rest, Ill get to it.

DEFENSE
Played great, took advantage of the weather, except......Ill get to it.....

I gotta say this.  My glasses were kind of rain speckled, so Im not sure if it was Mack or Means (they both got credit for the tackle) who ran down Fluellen on his long run in the third quarter.  Chasing Fluellen down after 40 yards from behind the play, if that was Mack, every NFL scout will be looking at that play, I guarantee it.  Great hustle.

SPECIAL TEAMS
You cant ask for a better performance out of the special teams considering the conditions.  Yes Clarke missed a field goal (did he really, or did the ref get a rain drop in the eye, because Clarke seemed convinced he made it), the punting game was an actual bright spot.  The rugby punts are perfect for windy conditions, just like in golf, keep it low for better results.  And it keeps the ball out of the hands of Toledos returner.  The blocked extra points were great efforts.  Return game didnt cost UB.

So the "Ill get to it" parts.  If this was a one game thing it would be different, but it happens time and time again.  This is the difference in being "close" and being a winner.  Five drives made all the difference....

6 plays, 73 yards out of the half for a Toledo TD, Fluellen starts to roll, UB 14- Toledo-13
4 plays, 86 yards, Fluellen up the middle time and time again for a TD, UB 14 - Toledo - 19 Toledo is starting to feel it
8 plays, 84 yards, another Toledo TD, Toledo - 25 UB- still 14

Defensively, UB had no answers after seeing the same thing over and over again on three drives.  Three drives, no answers or adjustments.  Sure they made adjustments eventually, that worked, but the game was in the balance then, "eventually" is the difference between close and winning

Offensively, Fourth quarter, Toledo is up 5, 3 plays (all passing, all incomplete) 0 yards.  It seemed like there was a sense of urgency there to start chucking the ball when conditions and the way the game was playing out, didnt call for that.

Next drive, still only down by 5, 3 running plays nets 30 yards with BO, moving the chains, and then pass, pass, pass. netting -2 yards.  ???????

You can be close all day long, but these examples never get you over the top.....and they are nothing new...Close just isnt enough anymore.....

Onto Miami, please NO RAIN!!!!!!

GO BULLS!!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?......





10
Buffalo Bulls Football / Monday Morning Thought: Paging Thomas Paine
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:11:48 AM »
"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

I dont want to give up, I dont.  I walked into that stadium at 3:15 on Saturday with one thing on my mind.  And it wasnt the game. It was heading for the super heated restrooms in the stadium to find respite from the cold, the wind, and the rain.  Even for just a few minutes before heading to the seats.  I honestly didnt want to leave the restroom.  I knew there would be nothing "out there" worth seeing, and I think thats a sorry state of affairs to tell you the truth.  After spending 3 hours trying to stay dry while tailgating (hopeless endeavor), once the rains came back at the end of the third, I had had enough. 

My wife and son joined me for the first time Saturday.  My wife knows that I love the tailgating and the games, and too her credit, she managed the miserableness of the day without saying a word, even when I knew she had probably had enough by 1 o'clock.  My son, for his part, as most kids do, could of cared less about the elements.  I could have used them as an excuse for leaving at the end of the third, but I cant.  After watching "dangle the carrot in front of the horse" for yet another game, I was done, D-O-N-E.  Call me what you will, but I dont feel bad about my decision too leave.  As of right now, the only thing that will keep me coming back to the stadium is our tailgate and the money I spent on the tickets.  Maybe things will change on the field in that time, and I seriously hope they do, but I can honestly say, it isnt the product on the field that is bringing me back.

As far as the game, theres not to much to say other than UB didnt quit.  Which is an admirable quality.  And I can certainly get behind.  But saying "they are trying hard" rings hollow for me.  They are supposed to be "trying hard" all the time.  Trying is part of the process, not the process.  There is a Robert Browning quote etched into a gravestone that reads "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"  As long as the players are not satisfied with simply "trying" and by heeding Browning's words, success and excellence are sure to follow.

OFFENSE
This sounds like the "too many injuries" excuse, but after seeing it first hand, live, there is something to it.  Right now, for what ever reason, the skill players just dont have that little bit extra to turn a good play into a great play.  Those breaking a tackle and getting 3, 4, 5 extra yards.  That burst to run by a closing defender.  That extra step to get a defender leaning the wrong way.  UB was making some good plays offensively, but there just wasnt the ability to turn them into more.

As much as people want to be done with Zordich, you have to admit that kid doesnt quit.  And in all honesty, hes thrown the ball better these last two games and continues to make plays with his legs. 

Campbell continues to impress as a true-freshman.  If BO does come back, I would like to see Campbell be giving a chance as a change the pace back.  He doesnt have the same burst or physicality as BO, but he is a good runner.  I know Potts should figure into that somewhere, but I see him more as an offensive toy than a running back.

If Zordich has a connection with Dunmore, keep him on the field.

Oline play was alright.  No where near dominating like they were against UCONN. 

DEFENSE
They played good enough to win, but too many missed tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Pat Clarke, 2 for 2.

Take into account punting and coverage and return teams play, UB slowly loses the field position battle each game.  There is a ten yard difference between UB's average drive start and that of Pitts.  UB averaged their own 23 yard line, while Pitt was at their own 33.  A whole extra 10 yards for a struggling offense.  And they are getting no help here.

Toledo.....Mr. Paine?

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph"

GO BULLS!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE???....




11
Yes, That wacky bunch at Bayside High on Saved By The Bell.  In an episode Jessie is so overwhelmed by her midterms, cheerleading, and her singing group with her friends, she turns to caffeine pills to help her deal with the stress.  Against the constant warnings from Slater, she continues to take them until finally she crashes and is rescued by long time best friend Zack Morris.  Well, UB fans, we are Jessie Spanos and UB Football is our caffeine pills.  We even have the "Slaters" out there wondering how we can possibly follow this team.  Watching the game on Saturday left me thinking about the pivotal dramatic scene from this episode, where Jessie is in her bedroom with Zack and sees her starting to crash.  He pleads with her to stop, she cant keep going on like this.  BUt she wont, she cant, she has too much to do, and she starts belting out at the top of her lungs and way out of tune, "Im SO excited, Im So Excited"  until finally she melts down and curls up in a ball sobbing.  UB fan, how many times are we "So Excited" and in the end are left curled up in a ball sobbing after watching this team try to play football.  Why do we do it, and when in the hell is Zack Morris going to come rescue us?  Maybe we would be better off just heading for Vegas and getting a job as a stripper.

I know Im a a day late here.  Oh well.  What can I possibly have said yesterday that would be any different today.  They played yet another MAC team, and again UB looks like they are miles behind against a team in their own conference.  I dont know why, and its most likely a combination of a bunch of things that have been discussed here ad nauseum. 

Part of me wants to listen to the whole "schedule" excuse.  Not the part of it that says they are playing superior teams from their own conference, thats poppycock.  UB is supposed to be playing competitive football in the MAC conference, that is the stated goal of the Athletic Department after all.  I would imagine that playing three road games three weeks in a row would be quite taxing on the young men.  And especially considering how close the games in UCONN and Ohio were, maybe they did indeed just run out of steam.  With that being said though, if that the case, shouldnt having four home games in a row make a difference coming up?  How many can honestly say that will be the case.

Plain and simple, UB was manhandled by NIU.  The players as well as the coaching. 

OFFENSE
I dont know how much you can put blame on any of the players offensively.  I know people want to continue to scream about Zordich and Licata, but I think we got a pretty good indication that it really doesnt matter whos behind center at this point.  Sure Zordich threw two picks, but at that point the game was over.  The game was over from the opening kickoff.  Look at pure stats, Zordich actually played alot better than the last two. 

Im concerned with the fact that once BO went down, it was like the whole season was over.  And it seems nobody as any ideas on how to move forward.  Sure theyve had a game plan, but how much has it changed in three games?  If your an offensive guru, shouldnt it be better than this?

DEFENSE
The old running QB buggaboo.  Its funny, you knew he was going to run, Sooooo?, were they just sleeping all week in the film room?  And what is so perplexing is how well they did against Ohio under similar circumstances.

And against the pass, they gave up all most 10 yards per pass.  These huge cushions they are allowing are killing them.  Its not going to matter if you hold a team to 1 or 2 or 3 yards on first and second down, when you give them up in chunks through the air. 

SPECIAL TEAMS
One play sums up everything...Second Half Opening kickoff, not that it would have mattered, but how on Gods green earth do you catch the kickoff already out of bounds at the three yard line.  Your already out of bounds, so is the damn kick.  Hello???

This is what Im left with for the Pitt game.  Im looking forward to the tailgate.  Im looking forward to seeing everyone again after a month away from the stadium.  Im looking forward to meeting some new faces and seeing some old ones, remember if your in town for the game and you have a few minutes, we are in the lot behind Alumni Arena, just look for the UB flag, its easy to spot.  My wife and son are coming to the game, and some friends of ours who this will be a relatively new experience for.  In the back of my mind Im already fearing that the game will be the worst part of the day.  Please UB, I dont want to end up curled up in a ball sobbing afterwards again.

GO BULLS!!!

&

WHO ARE WE??


12
Yea, Evening.  Before many of you were out of bed this morning, I was up on my brother-in-laws garage roof trying to make some head way before the rains came.  Sadly, only half of it got done.  Thankfully, its done raining for a few days, so he's safe.  On a side note, roofing is not fun in the rain. 

So Ohio.  My wife was doing homework yesterday while the game was on so I watched the Penn State game against Northwestern, and WECKed it for the UB game.  I had every intention of watching the replay on ESPiN, but why bother.  I know how the games ends already, and I don't need to see it to know what went entirely wrong.  UB should have left that stadium yesterday with a win.  There is no doubt in my mind, but because they continue to just ignore Special Teams, and with whatever was passing as MAC officiating (calls went both ways, but when the MAC darlings needed a call, they got it, and it still doesn't excuse the "over officious jerks" for sucking the life out of the game). 

OFFENSE

Alex, Alex, Alex... we know you can run.  We do..  But the offense needs to have a passing game too.  The natives are going to get restless.  Maybe the coach can come up with a passing attack that utilizes passes your comfortable with, you know, get your rhythm back, and some confidence.  Cant rely on your legs all the time.  Any defensive coordinator worth his weight in salt can figure out how to neutralize it.  Im sure you noticed that coach put Joe in right? 

"And I wish I would have seen more Campbell"- Sunday Morning Thoughts: Im hearing a whole lot of noise, But not enough volume: Oct. 1, 2012

At the very least, the receiving stats for the game didn't look pathetic. 

Offensive line brought their A game.  They battered and bruised in the trenches.  Keep that up.  Imagine what could happen with both BO back and Campbell sprinkled in.  Top notch job.

Coaching, loved the opening up of the playbook yet again.  Always keep em guessing, just too bad its ruined by the Special Teams.

DEFENSE
The defense kept two of the best MAC players in check all game between Tettleton and Blankenship.  The performance was worthy of a victory, and it should have been.  But how do you give up 2nd and 30 setting up the go ahead score, Thats just inexcusable.

Speaking of inexcusable.....

SPECIAL TEAMS

I know no one can see me shaking my head, but I am.  Nothing like handing back all of the momentum that you built up, going up two scores on the road, in an already tough game as it is, with one single play.  The whole game changed then and there....  Its tiresome.

UB is behind the eight ball when it comes to the field position battle always.  Whether its a a lack of a punt return, or a 20 yard shank punt when you need a decent punt, its just makes matters worse as the games go on.

Special Teams killed UB today.  They managed to overcome the turnovers, but, just killed any chances...

Another close loss.  Can NIU be any better.  If UB gets any special teams play at all next week, and the same effort from the rest of the team, they can win this game....

GO BULLS!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?......

13
I start this week by saying, I have a serious dislike for UCONN.  No other team in college football is a greater example of what could be and what actually is, as it relates to UB.  Both teams entered Division I at the same time.  Both schools are their states representative in Division I football.  UCONN dribbled their way into the Big East (the Big East Network had to use stock footage of what I can only assume is some shrine too UCONN Basketball as one of their after commercial lead ins), while UB rolls around in the MAC.  UCONN's connection to the BCS, grants them access to better players (Just a bit bigger, a bit faster, a bit stronger), while UB is left to fight over the scraps those BCS teams leave behind.  Time and time again, these games are so close, a matter of 1 or 2 plays that seemingly always puts UCONN ahead in the end.  I know I can't really fault UCONN for any of this, but I just don't like the constant reminders of UB's shortcomings.

I said coming out of the Kent State game with a win would have put a whole new shine on this UCONN game.  Just a whole different attitude going in from the UB players.  But with the Kent State loss, that went out the window.  UB might have been able to ride the momentum from a big win over Kent into the UCONN game, but with the loss, UB needed to play a nearly perfect game to get one over on UCONN.  UB didn't play a perfect game.  They battled back which was a really good sign, but getting to the point of having to battle back is what cost them.  I've been around here long enough to know where the blame will lie, but the whole team contributed to this loss.

OFFENSE
Ill start with a question.  Do you really expect any quarterback to come in and light the world on fire? Do you really think that anybody on this roster could do better with no options at wide receiver (other than Neutz), your third string running back, and a disappearance of the tight ends (I think mostly by design)?  Really?  Did you expect a college football Hall of Famer when he hasn't even played a seasons worth of games as a starter?  Was it a struggle, sure was, but it wasn't as bad as the Kent game.  Go ahead and dump on him, Im not going to.  I laugh when I see the same people who are railing on Zordich are also the same people who bought the whole Chazz-periment hook, line, and sinker.  You disrupted the development of not only Zordich, but also every other QB on this roster with that fiasco, all for THREE wins.  Go ahead, dump on him, but stop expecting 2008 Drew Willy out there. 

Murie is a gamer.  And I wish I would have seen more Campbell.  The problem is, time and time again, UB would send Murie into his offensive lineman's backs.  He doesn't possess that speed and ability to see a sliver of day light and bust through like BO has.  Its no fault of his own, its just who he is.  I was really impressed with his footwork to avoid getting tripped up on the hook and ladder.  I like Murie, but they need BO.

Neutz is a warrior.  Is there anybody else?  Surely, you can't tell me that with an Offensive Guru at head coach, UB could be this lacking at wide out?  Tight ends disappeared from the play book, but I think it was by design.  Numerous times they were in the back field as an extra blocker which lessened their impact as a viable target.

The Oline played decently enough.  Sure there was some break downs, but that happens.  And finding a run game with out your top two backs and against a pretty good front seven was going to be tough anyway.

I don't have too much to say about the play calling, especially with the limitations, but for the love of god, there was a lot of seconds that ticked off the clock during the two minute drill while UB was figuring out what to do.  Trying to figure out what to do next while time is ticking isn't going to amount to anything.  When the coaches are indecisive, most assuredly the players will be too.

DEFENSE
They had a great half of football. 

The problem is they needed it in the first half as well.  How many UCONN quarterbacks does UB have to make look like Joe Montana.  They're UCONN quarterbacks for cripes sake.  They aren't going to set the world on fire, and UCONN doesn't expect them to either.  You know this going in. 

Why are UCONN receivers roaming free in the secondary.  They're UCONN wide receivers for cripes sake.  They aren't going to set the world on fire, and UCONN doesn't expect them to either.  You know this going in.

I wonder if somehow the lack of receivers and struggles in the secondary are somehow related.  Its one thing in practice to match up against each other and look good doing it, but when there is a different team across the field, they both struggle.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Loved the onside kick call, especially if UCONN was cheating on the kickoffs, thats good recognition and a heads up call.  I also liked how Grassman came back strong after the fumbled punt.  Also, call it the WNYer in me, but I was sure Clarke would miss his field goal attempt late in the game, but he knocked it through.

UB needs to find a semblance of a punt return game.  Too many times they are getting pinned back and gradually gets behind in the field position battle.  An extra 10, 15, 20 yards could be huge for this offense.

UCONN isn't a great team, and they can be beaten, and maybe one day it will happen, but UB can't beat themselves trying to do it. 

So on to Ohio.  I think UB can have a chance in this game.  If UB gets some pieces back on offense, and UB starts off with the second half performance from yesterday, UB will be in this game no doubt.  Total team effort and a will to win for 60 minutes, and it will be possible.

GO BULLS!!!!!

&

WHO ARE WE?.............


14
And no Im not setting up a joke.  My 8 year old son asks me, "Dad, How did UB do last night?"  (thinking to myself, do I really have to answer this?),  "They didn't do very good, they lost."   "Oh," pauses for a moment, "Why are they so stinky?"  (To myself again, Oh good lord, how do I answer that, I don't usually use THAT kind of language around him), "well I don't know."  Another pause from him, "Oh, OK?"  Danger averted, thank goodness, or Id be getting a call from his principal this morning, "Joshua used some very colorful language today......"

Colorful language.  Here the thing.  UB hyped the crap out of this game to the WNY community.  How many of those extra folks do you think are going to want to come back after that?  None?  Would you blame them?  A "dart board" offensive game plan, no scoring, bend but don't break defense.  Hell, even the students other than the normal ones, couldn't be bothered.  Im standing there pre game, drinking a beer, enjoying the lovely evening and a co-ed is walking by me on her cell phone.  I think to myself, "Ok, if you don't mind me listening in to your conversation, I don't mind either."  It went something like this.  "Yea, I think we're going over to her boyfriends apartment over behind the stadium.  He has a TV that we're going to hook up and watch the game and tailgate, you know."  And by that time she was beyond me.  I really did feel like stopping her and saying, if your going to do that, the stadium is RIGHT THERE.  Considering the game, I hope their tailgate turned out good at least, because Id imagine they turned the game off.

This game was pretty important key to the schedule.  Kent is definitely not a formidable foe for the first MAC game of the year.  UB would have had the chance to go up 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the MAC before going on the road for three tough games.  How much confidence could they have had to ride had they won.  Unfortunately, these kind of semi-big game losses are becoming all too expected.

OFFENSE

Zordich.  If you've been paying attention since Ive started writing these things, to stay unskewed, I pretty much after nearly every game, I stay away from the reactionary post game threads.  So let me guess, having been around these parts for awhile, "Zordich Sucks,"  "I knew it,"  "Licata, Licata, Licata."  Kinda thought so.  Was he bad last night, sure was.  Should he be benched because of it, NO!  Lets take a few things into consideration here before we start calling for the hook and probably one thing that a lot of you won't like to hear.  First of all, outside of the few games he played in 2010 as a wide eyed freshman and most likely still learning the offense with no help from a run game or offensive line, last nights start was in all essence, his third of any consequence.  They really have no viable option other than handing it off to Oliver, or throwing to Neutz.  Third, the offensive line was manhandled on a lot of plays last night.  Fourth, a lot of dropped passes.

To me last night, what it looked like, after BO went down and numerous dropped passes and Neutz was getting blanketed, was a quarterback who knew it was on him to do something, and frankly the pressure got to him.  He was making the right decisions with the ball, but when your trying to do too much with it is when you end up with the errant or high throws.  The mental game starts overriding your physical tools, and the harder you try the worse it gets.  Last year, when everybody was all "Chazzy, Chazz, Chazzity, Chazz, Chazz,"  THIS IS WHAT YOU SIGNED UP FOR.  You don't develop the means to handle this stuff by sitting on the bench or in practice.  The ability to calm your nerves and play within yourself can only happen out on the field during actual games.  So yes he had a bad game, and as far as Im concerned, he's still the starter.  Besides, it was a good sign that after the game he had, he didn't shy away from the post game interviews.  That a sign of a leader.

I could go on about losing Oliver and UB being a tight spot depending how long he is out with no real viable option at "every down" running back behind him, or the fact that another receiver needs to step up, or the amount of dropped passes, or the offensive line being man handle, No, there was something more.

10 days to prepare a game plan.  The Athletic Department hyping the crap out of the game.  And the best they come up with for a game plan is 1.  hand the ball to Oliver, 2.  Throw it to Neutz, 3. throw to tight end if Neutz covered.  Tight end screen, what in the hell is that?  Hang the playbook on the wall, get three darts, throw, heres your game plan "carnival game" style.  And then Oliver goes down and they don't know what the hell to do.  Thats the best they can come up with, a shrug and an I don't know?  Honestly, do they know that the team on the other side aren't a bunch of idiots?   They do know that teams will figure out BO is out and cover Neutz, and your all good?  I need to stop before I start swearing.

DEFENSE

Classic bend but don't break performance, and the defense held up their end of the bargain.  Mack had a monster game, although he infuriated me on a couple of plays when he had to cover the back out of the back field and Mack chose to go after the QB and the QB dined it over his head and the back scampered down the field.  When you have the back, you have to stay with him.  Making big plays is great, being the cause of big plays is bad.

Somebody want to explain to me how having a ball hit you in the ass is pass interference?  If the refs are going to be that "officious", turn around and look for the ball at least instead of having a staring contest with the receiver.

SPECIAL TEAMS
They actually had a decent game.  Everything pretty much worked according to plan by the looks of it.

Im hoping the short punts are a reflection of a freshman leg.


Theres not really too much more that I can say about last nights game, other than it was a missed opportunity.  Next up is UCONN.  How much more daunting did that game become after 60 minutes of football.

After taking today off from work, Im off to hack my way around the golf course at Niagara Falls Country Club and forget last nights game. 


GO BULLS!!!!

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WHO ARE WE?.....
 

15
Buffalo Bulls Football / Sunday Morning Thoughts: Seven Buses and AC/DC
« on: September 09, 2012, 12:05:25 AM »
Odd title, I know.  Ill explain.  Later.   

Last week UB, a non-BCS team rolls in to play Georgia, a BCS team not only #6 in the rankings but hails from probably the best conference in all of college football.  Going in, we pretty much knew what the outcome would be, even though UB showed remarkably well and showed some signs for encouragement, the bigger team just ended up putting the smaller away.  This week, the shoe was on the other foot.  UB being in the spot of the giant, welcomed FCS Morgan State to the friendly confines of UB Stadium, and marched to a 56-34 victory. 

Its tough to get excited for these games, I have to admit.  Its hard to when you know how there pretty much going to end up in the end.  I wasn't around when a Division I-AA team would have been capable of beating UB, and so help me, I hope to never see that.  Last week, it was the first game of the season and the excitement that comes with this.  This week, the excitement stemmed, not from the game, but the first outing to UB Stadium of the new season.  Had a great tailgate with some old friends, wind tested my car flag (For those not from WNY, we had rain all morning and into the early afternoon while a front passed over head.  Once the front passed, the skies cleared significantly except for a few stray showers and the winds picked up)  After having to take down UB_dropout's pop up shelter because of the wind, we had one giant gust of wind roll through and immediately just as fast disappear.  I thought for sure my flag pole was a goner, but it held.  The rest of the night, the winds died, and the weather was beautiful. 

I have to say there was a pretty good crowd for an opener versus a not so exciting team and iffy weather.  It was nice to see so many students show up for the game.  My challenge to UB Students, lets see if we can keep that up all year long.  Sure 80% walked out at halftime, but if games are closer, especially versus UB's brethren MAC teams, will they stay?  Im heartened that the students are making progress.  Last year, as a freshman, Buffalofan4255, he was 1.  This year, as a soph, he comes to the tailgate with three freshman in tow.  4.  Hopefully next year, those three freshman as sophomores, bring along three of their own, 13.  See where Im going with this.

What can you say about the 56-34 score.  The only thing I can really say with all honesty, well two things, 1. the game was never in doubt, and 2.  34 points allowed?  Im not to sure how Im feeling about that.  If anything, a lot of depth chart guys saw valuable game time last night.

OFFENSE
What am I going to possibly say about Zordich.  Efficient sounds about right.  Some really nice frozen ropes thrown hitting guys in stride.  A few nice "jump balls"  4 touchdowns, 1 pick let in the game forcing a play.  Just efficient and in total command of the offense.  The "jump ball" Licata threw was nice as well.

Take a moment.  Just sit there and watch.  Watch BO in traffic.  Its a thing of beauty.  A sidestep, a shuffle, a burst, a shoulder to the defenders chest.  It remarkable seeing him go into a mass of humanity, watch how he navigates it, and comes out the other side.  Just watch sometime, go ahead, treat yourself.  Somebody please tell me that actually happened to Potts.  Just, huh? 

I know UB needs another receiver to step up.  But when you have Neutz out there, is there anything he can't catch?  The concentration he possesses is amazing.

The Oline kept Zordich clean, and sprung the running backs for 306 yards.

DEFENSE

34 points?  Really.  Yes, players got some nice individual stats.  Just the missed tackles and the blown plays (maybe Morgan State's #11 is hard to see out there, I don't know).  The defense wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either.  It was just,....there.  Will need a significantly better performance in 11 days.

SPECIAL TEAMS

I know Grassman is a freshman, and his leg is developing.  I hope the special teams coaching staff realize that there coverage teams are charging downfield and the ball is landing behind half of them. 

COVER THE DAMN KICK, its all I gotta say.

So another cupcake game behind them.  Now they are faced with something.  Kent State.  First MAC game.  This one matters.  This game can set the tone for the rest of the season.  Get a win here, and it will put the team in a good mind frame going into the tough stretch of the season. 

The title.... Morgan State brought along with them their very entertaining Marching Band (Team + Marching Band = SEVEN Buses).  It was a real joy to watch them through out the game and at halftime.  I have to admit, there were times I was missing what was going on out on the field, because I was frankly watching them.  Playing, Dancing, their dancers (tons of attitude, in a good way), even their cheerleaders.  And when I started to think about it, I remember AC/DC's Sin City, "bring on the dancing girls (their performance), and put the champagne on ice (UB winning)"

Onto Kent.....

WHO ARE WE?......

&

GO BULLS!!!!! 

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