Week 5 – Buffalo at Connecticut

Posted Sep 26, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction – Buffalo at Connecticut

-CFN Fearless Predictions
Buffalo (1-2) at Connecticut (2-2) Sept. 29, 12:00, SNY

Here's The Deal: Buffalo heads across the state of New York to face Connecticut in a series that's been dominated by the Huskies over the past decade. However, Paul Pasqualoni's team is hardly entering Week 5 with the wind at its back. Connecticut has been an inconsistent group in September, alternating each win with a loss, and falling to Western Michigan a week ago. The Bulls will be looking to become the latest MAC squad to upend a team from a BCS conference. Buffalo's first test with an equal resulted in a 23-7 loss to Kent State on national TV last Wednesday night. The program hasn't been the same since Turner Gill left for Kansas, going 6-21 since Jeff Quinn came aboard.

Why Buffalo Might Win: It doesn't take a lot of points to outscore Connecticut. Just ask NC State or even Western Michigan. Even against a talented Huskies defense, the Bulls feel as if they possess the necessary weapons to remain one step ahead of their host. Branden Oliver is a returning all-star, who has gone for 100 yards in 10 of his last 15 games. And Alex Neutz is a big and physical target on the outside, with six touchdown receptions in just his first three games.

Why Connecticut Might Win: It's at the line of scrimmage, where the Huskies feel they'll win this game. Connecticut is bigger and stronger than Buffalo, which will mean more running room for Lyle McCombs and more pressure on Bulls QB Alex Zordich. Zordich will continue to struggle, especially with DE Trevardo Williams and linebackers Sio Moore and Yawin Smallwood in his face all afternoon. If the opposition provides an opening, Huskies QB Chandler Whitmer is capable of building on last week's breakout effort in Kalamazoo.

What To Watch Out For: Success for Connecticut might begin along an offensive line that ranks last in the Big East in sacks allowed. The Huskies could have their hands full trying to contain two of Buffalo's best defenders, LB Khalil Mack and DE Colby Way. Mack is a future pro, with great instincts, and Way is off to his best start in blue and white. It's when the linemen aren't doing their jobs that the Huskies are prone to getting into trouble.

What Will Happen: The way the Big East—and the MAC—are playing these days, anything is possible. However, Connecticut should be able to grind out a victory at home against an inferior Buffalo team. Zordich's inconsistent play at quarterback will make it tough to move the ball on the athletic and aggressive Huskies defense. And with a little boost of confidence, Whitmer will be able to complement the running of McCombs on offense.

CFN Prediction: Connecticut 30 … Buffalo 13
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Connecticut -18 O/U: 42.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 1