Dri Archer is one of several players the Bulls need to lock down if they want to win.
As any red blooded Buffalo football fan remembers that when Marve Levy coughed up that old gem "run and stop the run" it was usually following a loss. "Run and stop the run" is easier said than done, especially for Buffalo football teams.
The Bulls have the offensive part of that down. Branden Oliver is the best Back the city has seen since James Starks. It's doubtful he will have his way with Kent as simply as he did with FCS challenger Morgan State but Oliver can be expected to be a factor, especially if Junior Quarterback Alex Zordich is playing efficient football.
If a MAC team were to slow him down Kent, who has the third best rushing defense in the conference has as good a shot at anyone. Roosevelt Nix is maybe the best defensive lineman in the league and he leads a Kent front seven that seems to a yearly force in conference play.
But my money is on Oliver getting the ball 20-30 times and likely average somewhere between 3.9 and 4.5 yards per carry. There is room for either a lights out game or a gutter ball but Oliver has developed into a very consistent back.
The Bigger question is UB's defense.
After two games the Bulls have the ninth ranked rushing defense in the 13 member Mid American Conference.
For Buffalo the problem is not big plays. Buffalo's front seven is chalked full of players who make big plays. Steven Means, Colby Way, and Khalil Mack have all proven to be game changing players. The Buffalo defense leads the MAC in sacks and is third in tackles for loss.
The defense will be challenged by the duo of Dri Archer and Trayion Durham who are averaging 136 yards rushing between them. The Bulls, who have been giving up more than 200 yards a game, will live or die by their ability to stop Kent state from running on them.