Before the 2010 team could mercifully be put down the Bulls had one more chance to show some progress. Instead the season long offensive regression claimed yet another "should have" game. This time to the only Bowl Subdivision team who had not yet won a game.
While Akron had fallen eleven times they had shown real progress during the latter part of the season. The Bulls, on the other hand, have seemed to be moving backwards. The end result was a Zips team that piled on points after Buffalo mistakes and a Bulls offense that could not do enough damage to stay in the game.
Buffalo did set one NCAA record which will never fall. They managed to go an entire year without scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of a game.
After the teams traded offensive futility for 15 minutes Akron got a break when ,surprise, Buffalo had a bad special teams play. A blocked punt deep in UB's end gave Akron a drive starting inside the red zone. The Zips second touchdown came when a Jerry Davis interception, off of Marcus Rivers hands, was returned to the 39 yard line.
In the 3rd quarter UB finally woke up with a 12 play 83 yards drive concluding with an amazing catch by Alex Neutz. The drive brought Buffalo to within five points and seemed to change the momentum of the game.
Akron jumped up and sole the Bulls stick when they answered back with a six play scoring dive that included *two* third down conversions.One of those conversions was a 42 yard pass from Patrick Nicely to Jalil Carter.
The zips would go on to add a field goal to make it 22-7 mid way through the 4th quarter.
The Bulls added a late score and recovered an onside kick but Akrons Pass Rush twice disrupted the UB offense. The first time nearly causing a game ending fumble. The second time, deep in Akron Territory, Jerry davis had the ball dislodged thus handing Akron their first win of the year.
There are good coaches and great coaches. A good coach can win with the right players, a greach coach can win with whatever cards he is dealt. Jeff Quinn is a good coach! Given the defections and injuries this season winning six games was a huge task but with Ball State, EMU, and Akron on our schedule (as well as an FCS team and Bowling Green) five wins was certainly possible.
To understand just how thin the line was look at UB through the end of the first half against UCF. Clobbered Rhode Island, outclassed by Baylor team who beat everyone's expectations, and played UCF to the wire. When we lost Ostrowski near the end of the first half against the Knights that effectively ended the season.
Seven Bulls on the line, and one of those was a defensive end until may. Things were so desperate this summer that Quinn considered converting Nick Sizemore to a center. Sizemore was fifty pounds too light for that role so he left the school. Net season Quinn has some size coming in and some injured players coming back.A great coach would have seen the limitations of this years squad (no depth on the line, virtually no experienced QB or wide outs) and done something, anything, other than try to jam them into the spread. Do I think this means Quinn cant be successful at Buffalo?
To the Akron game specifically we sw some of the same inexplicable play calling we saw all year, but there were bright spots. While UB seemed to be all good running into the middle of the line for no gain on first and second down most of the time they utilized the tight end well for just the second game this season.
Why those designed roll outs with the tight end in the flat were not used more is beyond me.
The defense had one really bad drive. A few blown coverages but as I said in the game thread, that's what happens when you get really aggressive in the secondary. I still love the defense that Coach Inge put into place. The Buls defense played well enough to win six games this year, the offense played well enough to win one.
Ill have more grades and thoughts up later.