2011 Buffalo Football Preview
Over the past month the QB position has gone from a major area of concern to a major area of strength for UB. Chazz Anderson graduated early from the University of Cincinnati and by NCAA rules has one-year remaining to play without sitting out a season. Anderson, a former Ohio high school state player-of-the-year-award winner is extremely talented and played for Coach Quinn when he was an assistant coach at Cincy. He had played sparingly with backup roles to Tony Pike and Zach Collaros. Anderson is a huge catch for UB and a major improvement to the most vital area of a team.
The Bulls were dreadful rushing the ball last season and that led to their 14-points per game output in 2010, dead last in Division IA. UB does have some solid playmakers in Branden Oliver, James Potts and Jeffvon Gill, so perhaps the issue lies more with the offensive line.
And here maybe the issue, while Buffalo did not give up many QB sacks last fall, they failed to get much of a push and generate a rushing game as UB ranked 9 th in the MAC in rushing and 101 st nationally. Three starters return and overall this unit is bigger and deeper than a year ago.
This should be a vastly improved area with the return of all three starters and better quarterback play. Terrell Jackson, Marcus Rivers and Alex Neutz will all prosper with Chazz Anderson behind center. The passing game ranked 89 th last season, that will jump by forty given Coach Quinn’s second season of implementing his offense and a proven signal caller.
Steven Means is a very active defensive end who has all conference abilities. True freshman Kendall Patterson was one of the MAC’s top overall recruits should contribute right away at one DT spot and has a bright future. Only one returning starter come back from last season’s two-deep roster so there is much inexperience.
This is a unit that may be better than some observers give them credit. Khalil Mack is a solid player and there are other quality performers in Scott Pettigrew, John Syty and Jaleel Verser. Replacing three-year starter Justin Winters will be challenging but don’t be surprised to see this unit thrive as the season wears along.
By far the biggest unit hit in graduation was this area. UB must replace some outstanding players in Davonte Shannon, Domonic Cook and Josh Thomas. Buffalo ranked 18thin the nation in pass defense because of these guys so expect a dramatic fall in production from the UB pass defense in 2011.
AJ Principe, the school’s all time leading scorer is gone and much of the special teams areas took hits as well. This will be a work-in-progress area all year.
After beating Rhode Island in week one, Buffalo lost eleven straight which includes losing their final two games of the season to lowly Eastern Michigan and Akron. That was due to their offensive ineptness and ranking 105 th in turnover margin. Stony Brook is the only given “win” this fall but with improvement on the offensive side of the ball and a huge upgrade in the quarterback area, Buffalo just may reach the five-win mark for the third time in the past five years, something this young football program has never done.
by: Nick Gerogosian of VanDelaySports.com
> Back to the2011 MAC football preview