As the Baylor Bears are hoping to get their second straight home victory, the Buffalo Bulls come into Week 2 sitting at 1-0 after a big 31-0 win over Rhode Island. Here's their positional breakdown.
QB: Sophomore Jerry Davis will get his second career start this Saturday. Last week vs. Rhode Island, Davis was 21/35 for 302 yards, along with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. He tends to be a little erratic and panic when the pressure is on, so look for Baylor defensive coordinator Brian Norwood to try and get to him early. The interception came on a screen pass where there was a lot of pressure.
RB: Last week, the Bulls used multiple backs in their backfield and had a difficult time getting their running game going, only managing to gain 91 yards. Last year's leading rusher Ike Nduka (598 yards) only gained 7 yards on 5 carries. Senior Brandon Thermilus, who ran for 560 yards in 2009, is also back looking to bounce back from a 27 yard performance last week. Redshirt freshman Branden Oliver rushed for 20 yards on 9 carries last week.
WR: Buffalo is having to replace 2 of their top 3 all-time receivers this season. Junior Marcus Rivers stepped up last week with a career high 10 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Alex Neutz also had a solid game, with 5 catches for 99 yards. QB Davis did a good job spreading the ball around, completing passes to 7 different players including throwing a touchdown to 4 different receivers.
O-Line: The offensive line has a lot of experience coming back from last season, including All-MAC Second Team guard Peter Bittner. Also returning are tackles Matt Ostrowski and Jordan Jerrold as well as center Josh Violanti Last week the offensive line only gave up 1 sack, but Bittner was flagged twice for being an ineligible man downfield.
D-Line: The defensive line is anchored by returning starters Anel Montanez and Steven Means. They are joined by Richie Smith and Jerry Housey. Last week, Montanez sacked the quarterback twice and Means forced a fumble.
LB: The Bulls have the most depth at linebacker, with all of their starters returning from last season. Senior Justin Winters was an all conference selection in 2008 and, along with junior Fred Branch, led the Bulls with 8 tackles last week, including one sack. Fellow senior Raphael Akobundu added on 7 tackles as well.
DB: Davonte Shannon, Buffalo's three time first-team all MAC safety, is back leading the Bulls' experienced secondary. Also back are returning starters Domonic Cook and Josh Thomas at cornerback. Last week , Thomas had a sack and an interception.
Coach: New Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn is looking for his second career victory at the Division 1 level. Quinn was hired away from Cincinnati, where he was Brian Kelly's (new HC at Notre Dame) offensive coordinator for the past 3 seasons. Quinn's offenses at UC put up big numbers through the air, so expect a very pass-heavy attack against the Bears.
Key Stat: Against Rhode Island, an FCS team that was 1-11 last season, the Bulls were only 5/14 on third down conversions. Despite gaining over 400 yards in their first game under a new coach in a new system, this stat shows that they still have a lot of kinks to work out offensively between now and Saturday.
Sizing Up Buffalo
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