Normally I wouldn't care too much about Temple and Bowling green playing out of conference games, but after a nine month football fast Ill take anything I can get. That and the fact the two games involving MAC East teams today could be very telling for UB's chances of repeating as MAC East champions. Not only are Temple and Bowling Green two teams UB will face this season they are also believed by many to be the main contenders to take the division away from Buffalo this season.
Troy at Bowling Green: From more on Bowling Green/Troy check out Falcon Blog
This will give a good measure of just how the Falcons will fair this year. For the past three years Troy has had a regular season record of 23-13 and a Bowl Record of 1-1.
They are not an explosive offense, more of a safe high percentage so we may not see how the Falcons defensive backs respond to pressure but in all honesty there are not a whole lot of questions surrounding the Falcons defense.
What UB can get a look at is how the Bowling Green offense will deal with a pressure defense. Troy is a solid defensive team and should more than test the Falcons. If the Bulls starting front seven are improved as much as we think this could be a preview to how the Falcons will perform under our improved pass rush.
Temple at Villinova: For more on the Temple/Villinova game check out TempleFootBallForever
Normally you would not use an FCS school to gauge the strength of the FBS opponent. If Buffalo was playing Gardner Webb the first week of the season it would be hard to use them as a barometer for how our year would play out but Villinova is not an ordinary FCS school. The Wildcats are ranked #5 in the nation and have shown they can be competitive with FBS Schools. Last year they put up a respectable fight against West Virginia on the road in week one (48-21).
I expect Temple to roll Villanova, the Owls are not going to look past a cross town rival even if they are an FCS team. But given the quality and offensive setup of Villinova there might be some points of interest to UB Fans.
The Cats run a Spread Option offense similar to what UB will be sporting this year, The talent level is obviously different but formation wise we may get a peek at what Temple will be doing. Chris Whitney is a duel threat QB who put up nearly fifteen hundred yards passing and five hundred rushing while sharing time with pocket passer Antwon Young.
On defense they run the 3-3-5 defense which makes some of their personnel losses on the defensive line very damaging. There will not be a whole lot to look for on this side of the ball, Temple will move it easily and UB never lines up in the monstrosity known as the 3-3-5.