Game Preview: Toledo versus the Buffalo Bulls

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo has been dominant in MAC play but on Tuesday, they'll have their biggest conference test of the season to date when they hit the road to face Toledo.

Seven straight, solo first place in the MAC East and a Tuesday night primetime game against the Toledo Rockets coming up next.

Things are certainly exciting for UB fans right now as their team hits the closing stretch of the 2013 regular season.

Buffalo holds a one-game lead over Bowling Green in the MAC East but a win over the Rockets could help catapult the Bulls into a variety of division clinching scenarios going into next week.

Toledo though won’t be an easy opponent for UB. Coached by second year man Matt Campbell, the Rockets sit in third in the MAC West at 6-3 (4-1).

A win for Toledo keeps them in contention in the MAC West as they attempt to make the MAC Championship Game, battling with Ball State and Northern Illinois.

The Rockets are a solid team on both sides of the ball and enter tomorrow night's game against the Bulls with a winning streak of their own, having won four straight.

Senior Terrance Owens leads Toledo at quarterback.

Owens has passed for 1,609 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions but has been less of a mobile threat than in the past.

His two main targets are Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell. Reedy leads the Rockets with 52 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns while Russell isn’t too far behind.

At running back, they have a talented duo led by Lockport, New York native David Fluellen.

Questionable coming in, Fluellen is one of the top running backs in the nation.

The senior back has rushed for 1,067 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging seven yards per carry.

If Fluellen isn’t good to go, look for Freshman Kareem Hunt to get the majority of the Rockets carries.

Hunt has done an outstanding job filling in for Fluellen, rushing for 486 yards and five touchdowns on 68 carries this year.

Defensively, Toledo is very average. They rank right in the middle of the pack in the NCAA in points against, allowing 26.2 points per contest.

In MAC games, they’re faring a tad bit better, allowing less than 22 points per contest.

Despite ranking third in the MAC West, Toledo is one of the best teams in the MAC.

The Rockets only losses this year have come against #10 Florida, Missouri, and Ball State. In each game, Toledo was competitive and kept the final score within 20 points.

They’ll be looking for a big win against Buffalo on Tuesday in very cold and possible snowy Glass Bowl.

This matchup is going to come down to both teams running games. Both squads have solid rushing attacks but the Bulls have a much better run defense.

I expect both Branden Oliver and the Fluellen/Hunt combo to get their yards but in the end, I expect Buffalo’s defense to be the difference in the game.

The Bulls should win a hard fought game to improve to 8-2 (6-0).

Prediction: Buffalo 34-24

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