Confident Licata Not Your Average Joe

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The redshirt sophomore quarterback is 10-3 as the Bulls starter. He'll try to keep it up next Tuesday when Buffalo hits the road to Toledo.

Joe Licata isn't your average Joe.

Since taking over the Bulls starting quarterback position at the end of last season, Licata has led Buffalo to a 10-3 record.

His only three losses came against three bowl teams, two of which ranked in the Top 25, Baylor and Ohio State.

"I'm actually pretty mad we lost those three games." Licata said.

While guiding Buffalo to seven consecutive wins, Licata has quietly had a very solid season while Branden Oliver, Alex Neutz, and Khalil Mack receive most of the local attention.

A Williamsville native, Licata is starring for his hometown team while leading the Bulls to unprecedented levels of success.

"This gentleman here has done an unbelievable job of really coming in and doing the things he needs to do to help this team win." Jeff Quinn said during his weekly presser Friday afternoon.

Licata is an efficient quarterback whose game management skills have helped jumpstart the Bulls offense this year.

Behind his 1,738 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, Buffalo’s offense is averaging 30.9 points per game, their best totals during Jeff Quinn's coaching tenure.

As a sophomore, most would expect a learning curve before such success but Licata was confident that he’d be successful right away.

"I'm a pretty confident guy." Licata said "I expected nothing but success once we got here."

"When you've got guys like Branden Oliver, Alex Neutz, and Freddy Lee on the offensive side of the ball, you know you're going to have success."

A three-star recruit out of Williamsville South, Quinn believed Licata had the talent to be successful but it was an upperclassmen teammate that helped guide his development.

"I think Joe learned from an outstanding teammate Alex Zordich." Quinn said.

It was Zordich whom Licata took the starting quarterback position away from at the tail end of last year.

Instead of becoming a detriment, Zordich has helped Licata develop into one of the top young quarterbacks in the MAC.

While no one but Licata and his Bulls teammates could've predicted their instant success with him leading the way, Licata believes that it's important to take it one game at a time.

"It's just a process right now. We've won seven in a row but nothing is more important than the eighth."

Having won seven straight, Buffalo is assured that worst case scenario, they'll be playing for a chance to clinch the MAC East in their season finale against Bowling Green at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

But before that happens, the Bulls are worrying about their present challenge.

You can next catch Licata and his Buffalo teammates in action next Tuesday at 7:30 when the Bulls take on Toledo on ESPNU.

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