The Pregame Meal: Northern Illinios 2012

Hannah Foslien - Getty Images

The Pregame Meal Northern Illinois 2012: We are deeper than a deep-dish pizza. (only valid at running back, offer may expire if one more back gets hurt. Availability of BO is day-to-day and by that we mean out for the season, Running Back guaranteed to get 30 carries or your money back! If you experience the UB Passing game for more than 4 hours, please contact your physician, you are already having a heart attack or a stroke.)

The Pregame Meal is in DeKalb, Illinois. I am lost in a cornfield. Please point me in the direction of Chicago. The goal of the pregame meal is to Hydrate, Nutritionate, and Player Hate. It is your bulletin board's bulletin board material. The Pregame meal also delivers 11 factors that will decide the game, and over 50% of those factors are actual football facts. After the game, I revisit it all, during the postgame meal. You know we missed that extra point on purpose to let NIU win so they would beat Ohio in the Championship. Quinn has ALL the foresight. Your welcome, time to pay the bill Huskies.

Hydration:

Jedi Mind Trick Cocktail Positive: Quinn has established him as the master of the trick play. Negative: These are not the Coaches you are looking for. BURN IT ALL: Molotov Cocktail, if we lose we'll be 1-5 our worse start since 2006, Turner Gill's first year at Buffalo. It's Quinn's 3rd year and we are still finding small ways to regress. If we lose, we must do what our good friend Bane tried to do to Gotham, burn it, BURN IT ALL.

Nutritionation: Hit the city for Fat Willy's Rib Shack. BBQ, Mac and Cheese, eating sadness, and sharing fond memories of Drew Willy. This is what Buffalo football has become.

Player Hating:

  • I really have no reason to hate anyone currently on NIU.
  • I slightly hate Garrett Wolfe and Michael Turner if you want to go old school MAC, they were very annoying.
  • I hate Huskie Stadium, It's build so that the stands are over the sideline, so you literally have fans on top of you. It is intimidating but feels like it's a cheap way to get that intimidation factor.
  • Hate the fans, my last trip to NIU was in 2006, at that point NIU hadn't won a MAC Championship in 13 years, but from their talk they were the perennial champs. They did win the West in 2005, but they lost to Akron so you'd think that would humble them a bit, nope.
  • I try to think which fanbase I hate more than NIU in the West, its obviously Ball State, (bitter much?) but I think #2 would be NIU. Ohio faced NIU in the MAC Championship last year, that stadium had to be unbearable.

A Little Love:

  • They get none.
  • Ok, one, they beat Kansas, now that's a team I hate. Seriously, I hope NIU salted the earth once they were finished with Dictator Weis and his latest schematic failure. Of course had they done that they would be salting their own earth, because the game was played in NIU. But I still hope they did it, with all that corn around maybe the salt would bond, imagine that, corn on the colb, already salted for you, scientists why aren't you working on this?

11 factors to decide the game.

1) NIU Offense vs Buffalo Defense:

NIU has the #2 runner in the conference, it's their quarterback. This game features the 2 best running QB's in the MAC. Unlike Zordich, Lynch has thrown well, completing 60% of his passes and averaging 13 yards per completion. Theoretically, Buffalo should have the edge, pressuring Lynch into run mode instead of pass mode and shutting him down. In practice, it seems we are more likely to sit back in QB spy, limit his running game, but allow him to pick us apart via the pass 13 yards at a time.

Advantage: NIU

2) Better Meme

UB Memes

NIU Memes

Seriously UGGs are awful.

Advantage: PUSH

3) Buffalo Offense vs Ohio Defense:

NIU is tied with Buffalo allowing 4.12 yards per attempt on the ground. The good news for Buffalo, we've ran over the #3 and #4 running defenses in Ohio and Kent. The bad news, NIU is still good at #5 and we lost those two games.

NIU holds their opponents to a MAC best 54.5% passing percentage. We will have to run to win, is Oliver ready yet?

Advantage: NIU

4) NFL Team

Buffalo Bills 2-3

Chicago Bears 4-1

Advantage: NIU

5) Key Player:

Jordan Lynch

The QB runs and throws and scores TDs, stop him and you win. Last week he had 52 passes and runs and averaged 7.7 yards per play. That means once the ball was snapped to him and he didn't hand it off, NIU on average gained 8 yards.

Alex Zordich

If UB is going to win, Zordich will have to keep up with Lynch. In a game with running QB's fatigue is important, if we can batter the NIU defense and keep them tired and on the field we limit the damage NIU's offense can do and increase our effectiveness. We have been outscored 38-17 in the 4th quarter this year against FBS teams, so we have to commit to the run game, extend drives and ensure the NIU defense is more tired than ours when the game is on the line.

Advantage: NIU

6) Google News Search Headline (non-sports related):

"NIU Art Exhibit About Life Opens" - Rockford Register Star

"Relatively Well-Off Even In Grad School: Baidu Chairman Robin Li's Buffalo Days" - Forbes (Build us a Stadium Pleaseeee)

Advantage: PUSH

7) Key Situation: 3rd down again

NIU is MAC best on 3rd down, converting 49%. UB converts 37%

NIU has tendencies that the Bulls can exploit:

On 3rd and short, they run with Lynch, where he converts at a 77% rate, so it is best for UB to avoid 3rd and short.

On 3rd and medium, the draw to the running back has worked, but Lynch has really been stymied on 3rd and medium, he's only converted 25%, and NIU throws more often then they run. (Classic Quinnball)

On 3rd and long, NIU's conversion rate jumps back to 50%, Lynch runs and throws for the first almost equally.

On 3rd and very long, NIU has passed most of the time, and they convert 50% of the time.

Based on this if we can hold NIU to 3rd down we should send the Calvary. They will most likely run, or try playaction to do the unexpected. Lynch gets better on 3rd and long and that is likely caused by teams backing off and playing soft on 3rd and long, we should not do that. 3rd down, send the pressure.

Advantage: NIU

8) House Protection:

NIU

Players from New York:0

Players from Illinois:49

House Protection Index:88 (minus 10 point deduction for no NY pipeline)

Buffalo

Players from New York: 37

Players from Illinois: 1

House Protection Index: 75

Advantage: NIU

9) Key Quarter: 2nd Quarter

NIU: Scores the most in the 4th quarter. Allows the most points in the 2nd and 3rd.

UB: Scores the most in the 1st quarter. Allows the most points in the 2nd and 4th.

Buffalo will surge, but we sink in the second. NIU's defense is the worst in the 2nd quarter but they adjust very well after halftime. UB will want to be up 2-3 touchdowns at the half to weather the NIU storm in the 2nd half.

So far NIU outscores opponents 34-30 in the 2nd quarter, while Buffalo trails 48-17 in the 2nd.

Advantage: NIU

10) The Battle of the Land of Lincoln

NIU: Lincoln Howard - Freshman TE

UB: No Lincolns

Advantage: NIU

11) Game Score brought to you by: Science

Buffalo 2011: 38-37 win over Ohio. Buffalo 2012 31-38 loss to Ohio
Therefore: The defense is 1 points worse and the Offense 7 points worse than last year.

Buffalo/NIU 2011: 31-30 NIU.

Buffalo/NIU 2012: 23 - 32 NIU.

Advantage: NIU

Overall 11 Factors Pregame Meal Score: NIU with the near perfect sweep NIU 9, Buffalo 0, Push 2

Buffalo finally hits rock bottom.

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