Each week the voice of UB Football, Paul Peck, will preview Buffalo's upcoming game in his "Bull Session." The play-by-play veteran breaks down this week's opponent Connecticut.
Buffalo vs. Connecticut
Even though the Huskies play in the Big East, it feels like a conference game. This is the third straight year UB will play UConn. Shoot, the Bulls won't face MAC East rivals Kent State and Akron three years in a row!
Bullseye on: Buffalo Offense
The Bulls offense will have a different feel if Branden Oliver can't play. Let's hope Bo is a fast healer and we're all surprised by Saturday's game day decision. Backups Brandon Murie and Devin Campbell both averaged over four yards per carry after Oliver left the Kent State game. That's a good sign that the Buffalo offense will still have a running game…. The Huskies are very good against the run. They are allowing just 1.7 yards per rush, ranked 4th in the country…Bo or no Bo, the passing game will have to step up. That means a viable threat besides Alex Neutz will have to emerge from the group of Cordero Dixon, Rudy Johnson or Devon Hughes. Of the Bulls 22 catches by receivers, 15 belong to Neutz. That's OK because Alex is one of the MAC's top players, but more balance will help….Count the tight ends in that equation. They are one catch away from the position's total for all of last year…The strength of the Huskies defense is their linebackers. Sio Moore, Yawin Smallwood and Jory Johnson are one of the top groups in NCAA football…DE Trevardo Williams has 5.5 sacks in the first four games.
Bullseye on: Buffalo Defense
I really don't know if I've seen a linebacker take over a game like Khalil Mack did in the second half of the Kent State game. He admitted that he turned it up knowing the offense was missing his Florida buddy Oliver…I grew up watching Lawrence Taylor in his prime, and at times, #46 reminded me of #56…The Bulls lead the MAC with 14 sacks, 7.5 belonging to Mack and Colby Way…Whitney Sherry has really emerged at safety. He leads the Bulls with 24 tackles…The Huskies will start their fourth QB in the last four games against UB…Chandler Whitmer is a junior college transfer coming off a career-high 333 yards….The Bulls have the Bo Cat, the Huskies have the McCat. Backup quarterback Scott McCummings has been effective running the UConn version…Bulls fans remember the two 60+ catches by wideout Nick Williams in last year's game. He has already made some big specials teams play this season, and he's the Huskies 3rd leading receiver….The Huskies offensive tackles could help out if the basketball teams needs it. Jimmy Bennett is six-foot-nine, Kevin Friend is six-foot-six.
Two years ago, the Bulls were tied at halftime with the Huskies, before Connecticut pulled away in the second half….last year, it was a close game broken up by Williams two big catches…so we know the Bulls matchup with the Huskies, and I would expect that to happen again. Seeing a fellow MAC team (Western Michigan) beat the Huskies last week should be inspiration. So should the frustrating loss to Kent State. I expect a good, tight game in East Hartford.
Please join me, color analyst Jim Kubiak, sideline reporter Nick Mendola and host Scott Wilson for the broadcast on the Bulls Football Network. Our pregame show starts at 11am.