We are 1-7 again, and yes, schedule and injuries and all the other reasons why wer are 1-7 but the fact remains we are back to where we were 6 years ago and our history shows that no coach in our FBS era has won fewer than 3 of his first 8 games but turned it around to win 3 more games. Only once has UB rebounded to win even 2 more games. History says at best we'll finish 3-9 again with 1 MAC win against one of the weaker MAC opponents, a FCS win and basically a FCS win at UMass, and despite our good play against Toledo, I am not optimistic in us getting that 1 (non UMass) MAC win. But even if we do and we go 3-9, is that good enough? I guess we'll see. For now we have another close loss for the resume. Speaking of close losses...
So the Quinn era is better than the Hofher era... 4.8% better win percentage and our losses are 7% closer. At least we're making progress.
1) Toledo Offense vs Buffalo Defense:
Toledo does everything well. They throw well, they run well, I would not say that they excel at either, but their balance makes them deadly.
Toledo abandoned the pass early (25 attempts all game) and hammered Fluellen (24 attempts in the 2nd half alone)
Fluellen coming home, expect to see him get the ball often and expect him to try to show off in front of his family and friends. He did
Which might cause him to lose focus, He didn't
We need takeaways to be competitive. 2 Int's were big.
Toledo can beat you quickly, 3 touchdowns in 6 minutes and 19 seconds in the 3rd quarter.
11 40+ yard plays and another 15 plays between 20-40 yards. On those scoring drives they had two 40+ yard plays and two 20+ yard plays.
We have not been good against the big play, our only hope is the weather slows the game down and allows us to key on the run game and the weaknesses of Toledo's offensive line. It did for most of the game, the break in the rain broke our backs.
3) Buffalo Offense vs Toledo Defense:
Toledo is not great defensively, so they play high risk high reward defense, and they are plus-7, with 12 interceptions in 8 games. On average, they intercept 1 out of every 25 passes thrown. They have returned 4 of their interceptions for touchdowns. Interception Free!
Zordich has thrown interceptions in critical situations, usually trying too hard to get into the end zone. That falls into Toledo's gameplan. We need to be patient and exploit their front line with the run, even if we are down by two scores. Toledo does not have great endurance or depth for the fourth quarter. We need to continuously hammer them. Coaching fail, only 3 BO runs in the 4th quarter.
5) Key Player:
Bernard Reedy: #1 is another special MAC athlete who does a lot of damage on special teams. He is averaging 14 yards per punt return and has one PR TD, and averaging 28 yards per kick return with 2 KR TDs. In a mucky game, a big play on special teams might be the deciding factor.
He also has 57 receptions for 738 yards and 5 touchdowns...he'll enjoy our cushions.
We shut him down, like we shutdown for the most part Dri Archer and Beau Blankenship. We lost all 3 of those games anyway.
#1 is his own harshest critic:
Running Back De Jour. (AlBrandveon Pamuliversich?)
For the second week in a row we'll only go as far as our RBs/Running QB will take us. We are using a west coast offense to help Zordich, the bad part of that is we no longer stretch the field, which brings men in the box, stifling our running game. Toledo allows 5.28 yards per attempt on the ground, we'll need every inch of that to win. It was all Oliver with some Zordich until he was forced out of the game. Our run game worked, but we got too excited with Licata and abandoned the run.
7) Key Situation: Exploiting Toledo's Lack of Discipline
Toledo takes 7 penalties per game.
If we bring defensive pressure we can put pressure on their offensive line. They have allowed 15 sacks in 8 games and have committed: We played 3 man rush again, it worked as Owens struggled to find open receivers in the rain. I think pressure up the middle would work better.
Outside of a nasty looking PI penalty against Neutz, and a Roughing the Passer foul on Zordich, Toledo seemed to stay disciplined.
9) Key Quarter: 3rd Quarter
If you exclude the Morgan State game, Buffalo has scored 87 points all season. Toledo has scored 97 points this year in the 3rd quarter alone!
Toledo tends to take a lead into the half, then they let the game open up. They tend to tire first, as they have been outscored in the 4th quarter this season, but for seven straight games, the lead they establish in the 3rd has been good enough to win.
We took the lead into the half, but Toledo outscored us 18-0 in the 3rd. We outscored Toledo 6-0 in the 4th.
11) Game Score brought to you by: Science
Buffalo at home vs Kent and Pitt:
average points scored: 7
average points allowed: 22
Toledo on the road against Western and Eastern:
average points scored: 45
average points allowed: 32
Buffalo is where MACtion comes to die. Bad weather expected tomorrow, so I'm going to cut the anticipated score in half.
(UB avg allowed + Toledo average scored)/4 = 17
(Toledo avg allowed + UB average scored)/4 = 10
Toledo wins 17-10
I thought 34-20 but then cut the scores by 50% for rain. I should have left Buffalo at 100% because rain or shine our offense has that ugly look. The rain didn't hold which explains Toledo scoring 75% of what they should have.
Next week we play the giant-killers, the Miami Redhawks. Then we get Western Michigan. As teams do their best before playing us, look for Western to annihilate Central.