Game Preview: Ohio State versus the Buffalo Bulls

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

When Buffalo takes foot in the Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon, they'll be taking on a monster of a program unlike anything they've faced before.

Sure, the Bulls have taken on a plethora of highly ranked teams and BCS opponents over the past decade but they have never taken on a team quite as dangerous as the Ohio State squad they'll line up against tomorrow afternoon.

Second-year head coach Urban Meyer leads the Buckeyes as they went undefeated in his first season leading the scarlet and grey.

Meyer has been successful wherever he's been, starting at Bowling Green before pit stops at Utah and Florida before finally coming back home to Ohio.

The coaching match-up features a rematch of the 2010 Sugar Bowl in which Meyer's Florida Gators squad crushed current Bulls coach Jeff Quinn’s Bearcats 51-24 in what will forever be remembered as Tim Tebow’s final college game.

Quinn has a large amount of respect for his coaching peer and the team he leads.

Meyer’s Buckeyes are led on offense by Heisman hopeful quarterback Braxton Miller.

Miller is a multi-threat quarterback that will give Buffalo problems all day Saturday. The most athletic quarterback the Bulls will face all year, Miller threw for over 2,000 yards while rushing for over 1,200 yards on his way to totaling 27 touchdowns in 2012.

Running the ball for the Buckeyes will be Jordan Hall who gets the start at tailback after senior Carlos Hyde was suspended for the first three games of the year.

Expect both Miller and Hall to have big games versus the Bulls as Ohio State will be able to wear down the Bulls talented but overmatched defense.

Defensively for the Buckeyes, there are a few question marks although they should remain among the top defensive units in the Big Ten.

Bradley Roby will be out for Ohio State but they have a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball to make up for his loss.

Ryan Shazier is a beast at linebacker who will lead the scarlet and grey defensively against the Bulls.

If the game gets ugly, expect Urban Meyer to rotate in a lot of depth players on both sides of the ball to get a bunch of players into the game.

So after all my gushing about Ohio State, I’ll now try to convince you how Buffalo can compete with the almighty Buckeyes.

My only question is, can they?

Sure, the Bulls surprised #6 Georgia for a half in last years opener but Saturday will be a whole different animal for the Bulls.

While arguably the programs best team since their MAC Championship squad in 2008, Buffalo still isn’t close to competing with teams the caliber of an Ohio State.

The Buckeyes display a team fighting for a National Championship while the Bulls attempt to make just their second bowl appearance in program history.

For Buffalo to keep this game close, they’ll have to hope for success with their rushing attack led by Branden Oliver while hoping their defense can somehow contain Braxton Miller.

While there’s much excitement for Buffalo sophomore quarterback Joe Licata, his job Saturday will be to act as a game manager.

Licata needs to keep the Bull offense composed and focused, even when things aren’t going well.

If Buffalo can the run the ball successfully and somehow drain the clock, they might be able to stay competitive for a quarter or two while delaying the inevitable.

Ohio State has the talent to score quickly and in bunches against the Bulls. Buffalo will have to work hard to prevent that from happening.

Despite the negative forecast, I truly am optimistic about this years Bulls squad. They have a ton of pieces and display a great group of senior leaders.

It’s hard not to get excited about sophomore quarterback Joe Licata’s growth or the record-chasing season that Khalil Mack will have.

This Bulls squad has talent. They’re excited to finally begin the season and try to shock the world week one versus Ohio State.

Unfortunately for them, I just don’t see it happening.

Prediction: Ohio State 45-10

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