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Buffalo Bulls Football Preview
by Matt Fargo - 08/18/2008
No. 93 Buffalo Bulls
2007 Record ~ 5-7 SU ~ 7-5 ATS
Starters Returning ~ Offense (10) Defense (8)
Like Temple, there is a lot of optimism surrounding the normally uninspiring football program. Coming off a 2-10 season in 2006, the Bulls won a share of the MAC East last season and their five wins were just two shy of the entire win total from 2002-2005. The goal is simple in 2008 and that is to capture the division outright, make it to the MAC Championship and head to a bowl game for the first time in school history. The difficult schedule is not on their side this season however.
The offense is led by two players who will become the best ever in school history at their respective positions. Quarterback Drew Wiley will be in his fourth year as the starter and last year he broke the single season completion record, the completion percentage record and had the highest efficiency rating of any quarterback ever. In 2007, running back James Starks became the first rusher ever to top 1,000 yards. With four offensive linemen and all receivers returning, the offense has the chance to break many more records.
Defensively, the Bulls were very erratic last year. They allowed 20 points or fewer four times but also gave up 31 or more points seven times. In total, the scoring defense finished 62 in the country which wasnâ€™t horrible but to contend again, the unit needs to stop the big play. The secondary is the strength of the unit with five players who started all returning and that is never a bad thing in trying to corral the MAC aerial attacks. The rushing defense allowed 174.9 ypg and that needs to stiffen up.
The season starts with a tough home game against UTEP before traveling to Pittsburgh. The MAC slate starts at home against Temple followed by a tough one at Missouri. The good news in the MAC is that they get East bottom dwellers Ohio and Akron on the road but the bad news is that they get division favorites Bowling Green and Central Michigan also on the road. Buffalo was a double digit-dog three times last year compared to nine times in 2006. That shows the public has caught up so beware of the low numbers.