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Buffalo Preview 2006

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 7, 2006


Ten wins since 1999 with 69 losses. Ten points per game last year. Seven points scored in the first quarter ... all year.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

Good luck, Turner Gill.

The Nebraska quarterback legend and new head coach brings fire and enthusiasm to a program that never caught a break under former head man Jim Hofher. Like all new coaching staffs, there are plenty of new ideas, lots of talk about turning things around, and lots of energy knowing that the team is starting from the bottom up. What the program really needs are players, and lots of them. That's where Gill will earn his money.

One of the most tireless and influential recruiters in the game, it'll be up to Gill to sell those shunned by the bigger schools on the merits of Buffalo, like Ted's hot dogs, a big school, a good-sized city, and the chance to make an impact right away.

Head coach: Turner Gill
1st season
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 26, Def. 20, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 20
Ten Best Bull Players
1. TE Chad Upshaw, Sr.
2. SS Kareem Byrom, Jr.
3. LB Ramon Guzman, Sr.
4. QB Drew Willy, Soph.
5. FS Jesse Imes, Jr.
6. FB Steven King, Sr.
7. DE Andrae Smith, Jr.
8. RB Chris McDuffie, Jr.
9. RB Jared Patterson, Sr.
10. LB Jeff Bublavi, Sr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2-10

8/31 Temple
9/9 at Bowling Green
9/16 at Northern Illinois
9/23 at Auburn
10/7 Ball State
10/14 Miami Univ.
10/21 at Ohio
10/28 at Boston College
11/4 Kent State
11/9 at Akron
11/18 at Wisconsin
11/24 Central Michigan

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
3-8
2005 Results: 1-10

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/1 at Connecticut L 38-0
9/10 at Syracuse L 31-0
9/17 Rutgers L 17-3
10/1 at Western Mich L 31-21
10/8 Akron L 13-7
10/15 Bowling Green L 27-7
10/22 at Toledo L 38-15
10/29 Ohio L 34-20
11/5 at Miami Univ. L 54-13
11/12 at Kent State W 10-6
11/19 Eastern Mich L 38-14

Buffalo plays in the MAC, so it's not like it has to deal with playing Ohio State, Florida or Texas, but it doesn't have become competitive in conference play for the first time since, well, ever.

Built to be a good defensive program under Hofher, the Bulls have never been able to do much offensively averaging a mere 15.3 points per game over the last seven seasons. There are plenty of young prospects to build around with a decent group of quarterbacks led by big sophomore Drew Willy, a good backfield with four nice options, and tight end Chad Upshaw leading a promising receiving corps. The offensive line is big and bigger, and now it needs to use its bulk to shove someone around.

The bar will be set low by everyone but Gill and his coaching staff, so even the most modest of successes will be hailed as a big step. The program is due for some good fortune.

The Schedule: The Bulls play Temple right off the bat in a battle of two of last year's worst teams (New Mexico State should be included in a round-robin tournament). A win is a must with three straight road games getting progressively harder starting at Bowling Green, then to Northern Illinois, and finally to Auburn. Forget about the rest of the non-conference schedule going to Boston College and Wisconsin, but there are chances for a few wins playing Ball State and Kent State at home and going on the road to face Ohio.

Best Offensive Player: Senior TE Chad Upshaw. While a little light at 246 pounds to attract a lot of big interest from the NFL types, Upshaw has room to grow on his 6-4 frame and add another ten to become a possible second day pick. He has the hands and the moves to go along with his good blocking ability.

Best Defensive Player: Junior SS Kareem Byrom. Byrom will combine with Jesse Imes to form a decent safety tandem that needs to be the rock of the defense until everything else comes together. Byrom led the team in both tackles and interceptions and should once again be the tone setting playmaker.

Key player to a successful season: The entire offensive line. It's a huge line averaging well over 300 pounds per man and must be far more productive. It was awful in the ground game and did nothing to keep the quarterbacks upright. If the front five doesn't have a better year, neither will one of the nation's worst offenses.

The season will be a success if ... Buffalo wins four games. Considering the Bulls haven't won more than three since moving to D-I, a four victory season would be reason for a parade. The chances will be there with five winnable games, but there will need to be at least one good upset to make it happen.

Key game: August 31 vs. Temple. Two new coaching staffs will play up the season opener like it's the BCS Championship game. For these two woeful programs, it might be. A win by the Bulls would match last year's victory total and get the Gill era off to a huge start before dealing with the brutal part of the slate.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Sacks: Opponents 43 for 303 yards - Buffalo 18 for 142 yards
- First quarter scoring: Opponents 81 - Buffalo 7
- Field goals: Opponents 14 of 19 - Buffalo 4 of 13

The Last Time Buffalo…
…played in a bowl game…never
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2001 (Ohio)
…was shutout…2005 (Syracuse)
…went undefeated…1899
…won a conference title…never
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…1996 (Anthony Swan)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1997 (Drew Haddad)
…had a first-round draft choice…never

Related Stories
Buffalo Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006
Buffalo Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006
Buffalo Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 7, 2006








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