The Postgame Meal: All predictions come true, except the WMU winning part.
Celebration Music: Two wins, Two Songs
Hydration: Gold Bomb Intercept 3 or 4 and celebrate.
Nutritionalism: Oregon State went In-And-Out and we're motivated into a win streak. I prefer Ted's. Grab a Jumbo Burger and a Loganberry Shake, enjoy the night and if we win next week, we'll go again! Let it ride! We Want 3! We Want 3!
11 factors to decide the game.
1) Western Michigan Offense vs Buffalo Defense:
Western Michigan is more two-dimensional than Miami, but they definitely depend on the pass. UB Stadium has proven inhospitable to the pass during this home stand. It is going to be cold, and it may rain, I'm giving Buffalo's improved secondary the edge here. They've been put through the fire and have grown from inexperienced to experienced.
The improved UB Secondary nabbed 4 interceptions. One does not simply pass well in UB Stadium!
3) Buffalo Offense vs Western Michigan Defense:
Western Michigan is average against the run, average against the pass. They have 8 interceptions. When they played a young QB against UConn, they dialed up the pressure, racking up 6 sacks. Other than that, their defense hasn't been especially vicious.
Their numbers are good against the run, but bad against dominant runners. Toledo's Fluellen and Kent's Durham combined for 380 carries and 1931 yards in their games excluding their matchup with WMU, a 5.1 average gain per carry.
Against WMU, those backs combined for 40 carries and 337 yards. 8.4 yards per carry. WMU lost both games by an average of 18.5 points. Branden Oliver is the best back in the MAC. If he can break down WMU's defense, UB will win.
Oliver was on his way, 12 carries for 75 yards averaging 6.3 yards per carry. After BO's injury, Campbell went over 100 yards on 4.9 yards per carry.
5) Key Player:
Lewis Toler: The Junior corner has 3 interceptions. The WMU secondary is young but they have played well. Like UB however, they've allowed WR's to have career days against them:
Minnesota's Barker: 5 receptions for 101 yards and 3 TDs.
NIU's Moore: 7 receptions for 120 yards.
UConn's Davis: 9 receptions for 123 yards and 1 TD.
Ball State's Snead: 9 receptions for 147 yards. and last week,
CMU's Davis: 10 receptions for 208 yards and 1 TD.
Toler: 3 Tackles, 0 pass breakups, 0 interceptions.
Alex Neutz: WMU's DBs are 5'11 189, 5'11 183 and 5'10 157. I think the steak I had yesterday was 5'10 157. Neutz is 6'4 209. He should be all over these little corners. his best game against FBS this year was 6 receptions for 135 yards and a TD against Toledo. He could double that today.
Neutz: Season best 9 for 140 and a TD.
7) Key Situation: The Schedule
What is the value of confidence?
WMU has 4 wins: vs Eastern Illinois, vs UConn, vs UMass and at CMU.
UConn is not as impressive as it should be, which is hard to say as we lost to them. They struggled with CMU. They have not really beat a good team in conference.
The Bulls are coming off a win against a Miami team with a similar resume as WMU we were able to pull off the win. We should have the confidence to do it again.
Maybe it was the schedule...WMU and Miami had softer schedules, but Buffalo still gets no respect in the MAC.
9) Key Quarter: 2nd Quarter
WMU on defense allows 7 points per quarter on average. The Buffalo offense should be able to consistently move the ball.
On offense we were consistent, scoring 7, 10, 6 and 6.
On offense, WMU starts slowly, then explodes in the 2nd quarter, 34% of their points come in the 2nd. Once they get hot, they don't cool off in the 2nd half. Buffalo will have to control the clock with BO to keep WMU cold and out of rhythm.
WMU started slow, failing to score in the first, but then exploded for 14 points late in the 2nd. Buffalo was able to adjust(!) and slow down the Broncos, holding them to 7 and 3 in the 3rd and 4th respectively.
10) Fun fact: 0-5
Buffalo is 0-5 against WMU but has improved each time.
In 1999 WMU beat UB by 28.
In 2002 WMU beat UB by 14.
In 2005 WMU beat UB by 10.
In 2008 WMU beat UB by 6 in OT
In 2009 WMU beat UB by 3 in OT.
In 2012 UB beat WMU by 5.
Eastern Michigan is now the only MAC team we have yet to defeat.