The Buffalo Bulls should be familiar to Baylor fans. We saw them last year, as we went blazing by them in a 70-13 win for the Bears. Last year, the Bulls ended up 8-5 on the year, losing to San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. After their loss to the Bears, they won 7 straight games and played for a spot in the MAC championship game in the regular season finale against Bowling Green State.
This year, the Bulls are 1-1, with a win over FCS team Duquesne, and a loss in week 2 at Army, 47-39. With the Bears coming to town for a rowdy Friday night game on ESPN, the Bulls will be “blacking out” their stadium. So let’s take a look at the Bulls in this week’s 5-Things.
1. The Bulls are led by returning starting Quarterback Joe Licata, a junior from New York. He has started 19 games in his career, and finished with 2824 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He is not a rushing threat, having totaled -128 yards on 66 carries in his career. Licata is coming off of a 5 touchdown, 3-interception game in their loss to Army. The Bulls offense has been more pass oriented this year, with Licata throwing for almost 700 yards total in the two games so far. His yards per attempt have risen this year as well, up to 7.9 (for reference Bryce Petty was 2nd in the nation with a 10.4 yards/attempt).
2. The Bulls defense lost one of the best and most productive players in college football the last few years in Khalil Mack. So far in 2014, the Bulls have simply not been able to replace his production. They gave up 49 points to Army (who averaged 24.1 points per game good for 88th in 2013), and almost 350 yards rushing. They gave up 28 points to Duquesne who tied the game at 21 midway through the 3rd quarter. 373 yards against an FCS team, with 322 of those coming through the air. The Bulls have not intercepted a pass yes this year, and have 11 sacks.
3. Mack isn’t the only key player the Bulls lost, as they lost their star running back in Branden Oliver graduated as well. They also lost the one player that hurt the Bears the most last year in Alex Neutz, who had 6 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown against Baylor last year. Their top receiver in 2014 so far is Ron Willoughbly who has 15 receptions and 187 yards with 2 touchdowns. The Bulls rushing attack is led by Anthone Taylor, who has 194 yards rushing.
4. The Army game was not as close as the final score appears. They were down 47-17 early in the fourth quarter, with Licata throwing three touchdowns late in the game to make the score much more reasonable. Before those three drives, the Buffalo offense was struggling mightily against an Army team that hasn’t won more than 3 games in a season since 2010. Pretty much, most of their offensive stats came from garbage time in a desperate attempt to get back into the game.
5. This is a team that the Bears beat by 57 points and is probably worse this year. Their defense struggles against the option attack of Army (341 yards rushing with different players scored a rushing touchdown). Army attempted just 7 passes the entire game, so the Bulls knew they were going to run the ball and they couldn’t stop it. Of course, a triple-option attack isn’t something you see much outside of the military academy.