Freezing to death, one game at a time.
The Postgame meal: That's what I like about homecoming, I get older, Bulls stay the same.
Lets talk about Homecoming.
I found comfort in: "As Freezing Person Recollect The Snow--First Chill--Then Stupor--Then The Letting Go" By Peter Stark via Outside Magazine. It describes freezing to death, and is a metaphor for the Quinn era.
I walked out of the last game I will conceivably go to at UB Stadium. It was 2 years ago almost to the day, Homecoming 2010 against the hated Temple Owls. Jeff Quinn started Alex Zordich who didn't seem able to throw the ball. We were down 28-0 at the half and Temple was having way too much fun. I left at halftime and found out later we lost 42-0.
That game was probably an important moment for first year head coach Jeff Quinn. I did not like the hire, but I liked the pedigree of the man I did not know. I liked the tailgate that was building up near the stadium and how the players walked by the fans pregame. But we put in Zordich, and it did not work. That was the Jeep sliding on the ice and crashing off the road.
Then Chazz Anderson, that was us deciding to venture into the cold for shelter. We thought: "this will work," it did not.
Now it's 2012, it's bad but we feel like were making progress. Only a few more miles to shelter. We thought: "We're gonna make it out of this." Then NIU happened. That was crashing over a log. We are now exposed to the elements, we are hurt, we can't move, we can only sit and wait for help, and wonder, is it coming?
Then today's game against Pitt:
An hour passes. at one point, a stray thought says you should start being scared, but fear is a concept that floats somewhere beyond your immediate reach, like that numb hand lying naked in the snow. You've slid into the temperature range at which cold renders the enzymes in your brain less efficient. With every one-degree drop in body temperature below 95, your cerebral metabolic rate falls off by 3 to 5 percent. When your core temperature reaches 93, amnesia nibbles at your consciousness. You check your watch: 12:58. Maybe someone will come looking for you soon. Moments later, you check again. You can't keep the numbers in your head. You'll remember little of what happens next.
And now we get Toledo that beat undefeated Cincy last week. I can only hope I remember little of the rest of 2012. But it seems i'll continue to sit here numb until help arrives or I stop caring, whatever comes first.
Hydration: The game was awful, your limbs are frozen numb. Lets get you some Mexican Hot Chocolate. Appropriate as we're heading to Toledo.
Nutritionation: Leftovers. We got the leftover game plan from Quinn. It was just in the back of the freezer, it was labeled UConn 2011, but it's still good.
11 factors to decide the game.
1) Pitt Offense vs Buffalo Defense:
Pitt is the Bizzaro, Buffalo. They throw the ball really well, but struggle to run with consistency. Buffalo runs well and struggles to even complete a pass at times. Sunseri's completion percentage vs FBS teams this year: 65%, 68%, 76%, 63%. He is going to eat our secondary alive and burn our soft cushions like a West Virginian couch.
Now Pitt's Offensive Line is bad, so we COULD put pressure on Tino and force Sunseri into mistakes. Pitt has given up a turnover in every game except one this year. We could, but with LOL Tepper as DC, we wont.
To win, we will have to prevent Pitt's running game from getting any traction. In their win over VaTech, Pitt passed for 283, and ran for 254. In their 4 losses, Pitt averaged 285 yards passing, but only 112.5 yards rushing. Make Sunseri carry the team and eventually he breaks.
Fortunately we sit back and wait for someone who will give us a gift, and our front 7 should be too much for Pitt's front 5.
254 yards of offense, pretty good day for the defense. Of course no takeaways. Also 1 sack for the MAC squad with the most sacks against the Big East squad with most sacks allowed. Good defense, shows our talent because we still have absolutely no defensive scheme. You could pay me a quarter of what Tepper is getting and I can call prevent for every play.
3) Buffalo Offense vs Pitt Defense:
In their wins, Pitt has held teams to 1.7 yards per carry rushing. In their losses, 5.2 yards per carry. Buffalo is a run first team. With or without Branden Oliver. If we can get the Ohio rushing effort and not the NIU rushing effort, then it should be a good day for us.
We ran well, we just passed more. Once again we are not Cincinnati, cut that out and just run the ball.
5) Key Player:
Tino will do his thing, and chances are we'll hold Ray Graham in check. The person who has hurt us most this year, is the change of pace back. Freshman Russell Shell ran for 157 against VaTech and 96 against Louisville. We can't let a bit player play a major role in the box score.
Defense came to play, Shell only got 12 for 35 and a TD. Shell and Graham combined for 3.4 yards per carry. Helped keep UB in the game.*
Running Back De Jour. (AlBrandveon Pamuliversich?)
For a coach that would rather feed one RB 306 times then use 2 running backs, Quinn has had to dig deep into the bag for a back. What's going on with BO? Is Murie hurt or just in the dog house? Will the real Devin Campbell please stand up and maybe break a tackle while you're up there? Will Zordich be less Alex Zordich and more Jordan Lynch? I think yes to all questions.
Zordich and Campbell ran well, both with 19 carries, and averaged 4.8 yards per carry combined. We threw 41 times averaging 4 yards per attempt. If our forte is running, we should probably be running 60-40 ratio (47 runs and 31 passes) or even 70-30 ( 55 runs and 24 passes). If you want to know how to run our offense, re-watch the tape of the NIU game and do what they did.
*We are never really in the game are we? Did you think well if we hold it to a two possession game, the offense will bring us back? Of course not.
7) Key Situation: Playing with a lead
We have played FBS competition for 5 hours, or 300 minutes this season.
Pitt has played FBS competition for 4 hours or 240 minutes this season.
We have been tied for 44 minutes and 52 seconds. (15%)
Pitt has been tied for 23 minutes and 25 seconds. (10%)
We have had the lead for 21 minutes and 23 seconds. (7%)
Pitt has had the lead for 73 minutes and 16 seconds. (31%)
We have trailed for 3 hours, 53 minutes and 34 seconds. (78%)
Pitt has trailed for 2 hours, 23 minutes and 19 seconds. (60%)
As we'll see later, Pitt isn't very good in the 1st quarter. Buffalo might actually get a lead, learning to keep the lead will be the key situation this week.
We trailed for 51:55 of the game. We never had a lead. We are now 0-15 under Jeff Quinn when we are tied or down by 10 or less at the half. So if you want to beat the Bulls just make sure you are tied at the half, we will not make the adjustments needed to win the game.
9) Key Quarter: ALL THE QUARTERS
PITT: Scores the most in the 2nd and 4th quarter. Pitt scored 7 total in the 2nd and 4th.
Allows the most points in the 3rd and 1st. Pitt allowed 0 total in the 1st and 3rd.
UB: Scores the most in the 1st quarter. We scored 0.
Allows the most points in the 2nd and 4th. We allowed 7 in the 2nd, 0 in the 4th.