11 factors to decide the game.
1) Ohio Offense vs Buffalo Defense:
Ohio is what we've faced and struggled to stop. A team that runs 5 yards a carry,
We held Ohio to 3.3 yards per carry until that 51-yard TD pass raised the average to 4.8.
and then passes with efficiency. Ohio has yet to throw an interception. We got one! Tyler Tettleton connects on 64% of his passes he only connected on 56%. Hopefully we come out with a new defensive scheme, but if not, we will give Tettleton time to pick us apart.
Tettleton had a modest 183 yards, but 13 yards per reception. This means if we get one of our MAC leading tackles for loss on first down, to bring up 2nd and 13, we give teams to chances to pass and gain 13 yards on average. We are allowing well over 50% completions, so they will probably connect on 2nd or 3rd down. This is unsustainable, we allow teams to easily march down the field. We also only recorded 1 sack on the day.
3) Buffalo Offense vs Ohio Defense:
Ohio is not great against the pass, especially on 3rd down. Buffalo is a running team. This goes one of two ways, Zordich finds his confidence against Ohio, or it will be another long day on offense.
To start the game we ran on 3rd down 6 straight times, and converted each time.
We then passed 4 straight 3rd downs, converting 1 out of 4.
In the second half we faced 9 3rd downs, 1-4 converting when we passed and 3-5 when we ran. Overall, 11 for 19, on 3rd down with 9 of 11 conversions via the ground. We're a running team, if we run 1st, 2nd and 3rd we might be better off. I'm on team run the Triple Option.
5) Key Situation: Sinking Blankenship
Beau Blankenship is the #2 back in the MAC in yards per game. Number 1? Branden Oliver. 170 per game in 2.5 games. Beau carried Ohio when UMASS challenged, if UB is to challenge, they are going to have to keep Blankenship under 100. We have not stopped the big play on the run.
We sank Blankenship, but we didn't stop the one long run by Boykin. That was the difference between a meaningless garbage TD and game-tying heroics.
7) Key Player:
Frank Solich -
2006 9-5 Ohio team loses at home to 4-8 BGSU
2007 6-6 Ohio team loses at home to 3-9 Kent State
2009 9-5 Ohio team loses at home to 5-7 Kent State
2010 8-5 Ohio team loses at 5-7 Kent State
2011 10-4 Ohio team loses at 3-9 Buffalo
Solich's Ohio always has a let down game, it could be this week.
Down 14 nothing, coming out flat, Solich offered us his usual letdown game on a platter.
Jeff Quinn -
Jeff Quinn on the other hand, gets out-coached by everyone, but every once in a while pitches a gem, 2nd half NIU, the 2011 Ohio game come to mind. Quinn, Tepper and the like have made errors in our 3 losses, and if we win, we'll need to start with a great offensive and defensive game plan.
Didn't get out-coached but lost all coaching composure once the turnovers came. Our defense should be like the Ravens, even on a short-field it should be a fight to get in scoring position, however the soft zone we play makes that impossible. Great trick plays, the timing is off again. Special Teams awful.
9) Key situation:
3rd Down: Zordich has been abysmal on 3rd down. If Buffalo has any chance with or without BO, Zordich will have to channel week 1 Zordich, the one with composure, and forget week 3-4 Zordich who can't hit the broad side of a barn on 3rd down. That or scramble more. He hasn't shown us that he will get better, he's shown regression, it may soon be Licata time.
Once in NCAA '10 my starting QB got knocked out of the game, my backup was awful. I was down 7, so I put my fastest wide receiver at QB sent my WR's deep downfield and just ran with the WR/QB on every play. At this point, on 3rd down pass plays, I'm just hoping that is Quinn's plan. Zordich scrambles are beautiful, Zordich passes are beast. But shhh it's so not Licata time...he's just not ready.
10) The Curse of @JGuyMac
Home teams are now 3-3 4-3 now when the MAC Social Media Tour rolls in. They will be in Athens Saturday. UB is 0-2 in the presence of Jeremy Guy.
I only watch the team play once a week, do I know better then the coach who watches the team everyday? Probably not, but I'm still going to call him out, once again, the teams strengths and Quinn's desires seem to be disjointed. We have a 60-40 run pass ratio, but Temple in their final years in the MAC were 70-30. I would like to see us up to 70% running especially when BO returns. On defense, we are sitting back and getting eaten alive. We need to attack the quarterback and force mistakes with pressure.