2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 6 - Ohio at Buffalo
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Oct. 8 at Buffalo 38 … Ohio 37
CFN Analysis: This wasn't just a nice win to stop the three-game losing streak; this was a good win over a solid Ohio team. Chazz Anderson was fantastic, throwing for 343 yards and two scores, and Branden Oliver ran wild for 179 yards and three scores on a normally stout Bobcat run defense. The UB defense came up with just enough nice plays late to force field goals instead of touchdowns, and the offense got the big plays needed highlighted by a 90-yard pass play to Ed Young. The team proved if could play a little big after two bad weeks against UConn and Tennessee, but now comes a trip to Temple. If UB can be competitive, consider it a step forward.
The Bobcats moved the ball, but the defense had way too many breakdowns and was stunningly bad against the run. It was a mystifying performance, but there were still chances to win the game and the offense didn't get over the hump. Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns late was a problem when the defense wasn't able to get the ball back, and now the MAC title hopes are in trouble after losing a winnable game like this. Ball State and Akron should ease the pain before dealing with Temple.
(AP) BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Branden Oliver rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns and Buffalo quarterback Chazz Anderson passed for 343 yards and two more as the Bulls held on to outlast Ohio 38-37 Saturday in a Mid-American Conference shootout.
Trailing 24-17 at halftime, Ohio (4-2, 1-1) scored twice in the third quarter to take a 31-24 lead. But Anderson then connected with Ed Young on a 90-yard scoring pass to tie it at 31-all.
The last of Oliver's three touchdown runs came with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter and gave Buffalo (2-4, 1-1) the lead for good.
Ohio placekicker Matt Weller did his best to keep the Bobcats close. He connected on three field goal attempts, the last a 33-yarder with 3:23 to play. That pulled the Bobcats within 38-37, but Buffalo was able to run out the clock.
Ohio (4-1) at Buffalo (1-4) Oct. 8, 3:30
Here's The Deal …Buffalo is getting back in to the MAC after taking an extended breather and losing against Connecticut and then getting thrashed by Tennessee last week. Ohio, on the other hand, had a surprisingly close victory against Kent State in its conference opener last week and is looking to continue its winning ways. This is the 17th meeting between the two schools with the Bobcats holding the upper hand 16-11, but with the Bulls having their way with OU at Pedem Stadium last year, wining 34-17. Buffalo is trying to get its first win in the MAC and put an end to the three game losing streak its currently on, while Ohio is taking its show on the road for the first time in the conference. The Bobcats will need this game to keep up with the early pace in the MAC, while the Bulls are simply looking to move towards positive things.
Why Buffalo Might Win: They're actually not as bad as the record would indicate. The Bulls have had a brutal non-conference schedule against the likes of Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Tennesee. And though they lost them all, it could be argued that every team in the MAC would struggle to take even one game if given the same stretch. When Buffalo has had an opportunity to play teams in their own cloth, they have done fairly well, just getting edged against Ball State on the road via a late game TD pass.
UB will be able to have some success on the ground. Though the stats have been rather pedestrian overall, when going against teams its own caliber (such as this week), the Bulls have been able to run the ball effectively between the dual threat of QB Chazz Anderson, and via the conventional running of RB Branden Oliver.
Buffalo will also get a boost at home against an
Ohio team that has struggled to produce the same
offensive production on the road as it has in
Athens. The Bulls should have every opportunity to
control the tempo of this game and play off the
emotion of being home.g home.
Why Ohio Might Win: Ohio has been the better team, period. All the talk coming into this year centered around OU having a shot at winning the MAC East, and it has not disappointed thus far with a balanced attack that can seemingly adjust to whatever the defensive game plan against it is.
Speaking of defensive game plans, Buffalo has struggled to stop both the pass and the run and will have a hard time deciding whether to try and stop the improved play of Tyler Tettleton through the air, or the more than adequate running game. Even if an effort is made, it could be for not. All things being equal, look for Solich and the coaching staff to try and light it up through the air and take advantage of a porous Bulls secondary that ranks 108th in passing efficiency. There should be no problem with Tettleton hooking up early and often with his talented receiving corps to lead his team to victory.
What To Watch Out For: Tyler Tettleton is coming into his own and it will be interesting to see if the OU coaching staff continues to let him evlove. The 5'11", 198 lb. sophomore may be short of stature, but he has been showing improvement each game. What was once an Ohio team looking to run first, has morphed into a more balanced team that will yack it down the field just the same because of his growth. Consider this another opportunity to move forward in this evolution as the Buffalo defense has had a penchant for giving up chunks of real estate through the air. Get used to the call of Tettleton to Brazill in this one
For Buffalo, if it's going to have any chance at all, it has got to get pressure on Tettleton and look to lock down the receivers down the field. So far this year, the linebacker play has been outstanding with Fred Branch coming out of nowhere to lead the team in tackles, and partnering up with Khalil Mack and Jaleel Verser to be the standouts on an otherwise uninspiring unit. They'll need to be even better in this one if the Bulls have any chance at springing the upset.
What Will Happen: Ohio will continue the trend of trusting Tyler Tettleton to try and hook up with WR LaVon Brazil and company as the primary way of moving the chains, especially with senior RB Donte Harden perhaps shelved for the game. The Bobcats will bomb away early while mixing in enough of a running game to keep the Bulls' defense honest. They'll have no problem moving the ball. Buffalo will try to eat clock by establishing the run early but get frustrated by the lack of a consistent ground game and have to try and throw to play catch up. It won't work. Ohio has too many weapons on offense, and a good enough defense to pull away in this one. The score will not be indicative of the dominating performance on the road by the Bobcats. But a win nonetheless.
CFN Prediction: Ohio 28 … Buffalo 17
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Ohio -8.5 O/U: 53
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