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Bulls Fan Stampede: At the Half Way Point

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Half way through, and honestly before the Ohio game I was not looking forward to putting up this stampede. Fortunately a win over the Bobcats gives us something nice to talk about.

The usual suspects are back. BRJACR, ChiTown, 2010, and BCBull.

1) I'm going to put on my killjoy hat and point out that the Bobcats were pretty thinned out on their defensive line. So was UB's dominating offense more because our Offense is getting it together or because OU was banged up?

BRJACR: Well, its not UB's fault that Ohio was banged up.  And its not because of Ohio's injuries that the UB receivers caught pretty much everything thrown at them.  And its not because of the injuries that BO had another solid day.  Hey, Im not going to sit here and say that Ohio's injuries didnt help at all, because to some extent they probably did, but this weeks offensive production had alot more to do with UB's execution than it did taking advantage of Ohio's injuries.

2010: I think it was both but want to give credit to the UB offense and especially to Chazz.  I actually was overall happy with the play calling.  I like the up tempo and especially liked the quick strikes and letting the receivers make some plays.  Hello Ed Young!  At the end of the day, I really think UB would have won this game even with the injuries that Ohio is working through.  For the first time in a very long time I really like how UB moved the football.  I would really love to see this team next year with a stud MAC QB.  With the D getting playing time and stronger and a great group of receivers and running back, this team can be very dangerous.  The problem is that this team is one player short.  Granted the most important player in QB.  I sure hope that one of the QB’s step up next year. 

BCBull: I'm going to go with the copout answer and say it was a little bit of both. Even though OU was banged up, the Bulls were able to consistently move the ball, especially on the 4th quarter go-ahead drive, which featured 11 runs to 7 passes.

ChiTown: I think it was a combination of both. Yea, Ohio was banged up, but at the end of the day you have to go out there and execute. As much as some might not like Quinn, you cant argue the fact that he does have an offensive system, and it has had a LOT of success in the past. That may have been the game this team needed to turn things around.

2) Two of Ohio's touchdowns came off of poor fundamental play in the front seven, including the read option where the Quarterback get our lineman to bite inside. Whats your take on the front seven this season?

BRJACR: Theyve been alright.  Im really hoping that somebody on the offensive line can step up and start contributing on a consistant basis.  It really would help the linebackers out tremendously if they can be freed up to make some plays.  Alot of the problems in the Ohio game was that Ohio was getting to the edge with only 1 UB defender out there to even make the play, and unfortunately would bite on a move or miss the tackle and it was off to the races.  Plus with the secondary being so young and inexperienced, they arent coming up in support quick enough because there is a delayed reaction to the play.  UB has to get to the point where they can start stringing plays out long enough to keep the ball carrier from turning upfield and hold the play long enough for support to arrive.  Actually, there was a couple of times in the Ohio games where they played these kinds of plays perfectly and of course there was some bad ones, but at least we know they are capable of it.

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2010: First of all, I just do not understand how the kick-off coverage can be so bad for the last three years. 

It really does nothing to help the defense.  Had to get that off my chest. 

I really like where the front seen are heading as a group.  Ohio is going to make plays, they have some players. 

I really think that the front seven have really helped the secondary.  Do I wish that UB had a linebacker like we saw last couple of years with Winters, yes!  Overall this front seven has made plays when they had to.  They have made some mistakes but we all expected that. 

BCBull: I think the front seven has been underwhelming as a whole, especially given the losses in the secondary. For the defense to remain steady the front seven really had to step up. That said, Pitt and Tennessee have been unstoppable when their offenses are rolling, and BSU has been a surprise this year too. Let's save this question for the end of the season.

ChiTown: I think that our front seven is most definitely our bright spot. Not only have we got big contributions from Mack and Means, as expected, we have seen guys like Lee Skinner, Colby Way and Richie Smith play really well. The best part about this is that they are still young. Theyre only getting better.

3) Ok we've beat OU, care to revise your season prediction? Call each of our remaining games...

BRJACR: Six games in, 2 wins, 4 loses.  6 games remain broken up like this.  First 2 very tough games, 1 away, 1 home.  Get me one win.  Next 2 not as tough away games.  Get me one win, maybe two would be great.  Finally, wrapping up, 2 home games where UB should be better than or the same as their opponent.  Get me two wins, HAVE to hold serve at home.  That leaves UB at 6-6, possibly 7-5. 

2010: Temple and Northern Illinois – I do see UB having some moments but overall I just do not see any wins the next two weeks. Eastern Michigan, this can go either way with me.  UB should win but I am not holding my breathe.   Akron and Bowling Green.  If we keep Chazz in these games, we should win.  If we are looking for the QB of the future, then These games are up in the air.  I assume that Quinn wants to win as many games this year as possible and keeps Chazz In.  I see UB finishing the season with two wins.  My prediction for the last 5 games, two wins, three losses. 

BCBull: I think experience is more important. These guys need to learn to compete and win games. Leave Chazz in because he gives UB the best chance to do that. Leave BO in because he gives UB the chance to do that. I will not be upset at Quinn if someone gets hurt because we were trying to win games.

ChiTown: Still staying with my season predictions, like I have all along. I said we should win at least 5 games, and it still looks very possible. How will this happen? Temple - L. NIU - L. Miami - W. EMU - win. Akron - win. At 5 wins, heading in to our last game I see us with a disappointing loss to Bowling Green. That’s so far away though. The bottom line is, 5 wins is very doable and 6 wins is not out of the question.

4) We've talked about getting Zordich some time if and when the Bulls are officially out of the hunt for a winning season. On the same note given the workload Oliver is carrying is it time to find some rest for him to avoid injury or do you think the risk of wear and injury are being blown out of proportion?

ChiTown: I've thought all along that Oliver needs a break. He is going to wear down, it is only natural. Gill or Taylor need to be given a possesion or two. These guys are on the roster for a reason. As much as I like Oliver, and think he is the main back for the next couple years he needs a break.

BRJACR: It would be great to see Oliver get a respite every once in a while, but he makes it awfully hard to take him out.  I have to trust how the coaches are handling this, because thats all we have to go on.  With that said, Oliver has proved what he can bring to the table, there shouldnt be any question of who the number one running back is on the team, however, it would be nice to see UB develop a second back to come in and give them a different dimension on the offensive side of the ball.  But like I said, Oliver is making it really hard to do that.

BCBull: I think experience is more important. These guys need to learn to compete and win games. Leave Chazz in because he gives UB the best chance to do that. Leave BO in because he gives UB the chance to do that. I will not be upset at Quinn if someone gets hurt because we were trying to win games.

5) Coach Witherspoon just got a two year extension, thoughts?

BCBull: I like Reggie. I think he is a great face for the university who emphasizes the right things. So I like this extension. When confronted with the Fire Reggie argument I can't figure out how easy it'll be to hire someone new who is as good as Reggie and won't take 3 years to establish himself and rebuild the program back up. Reggie's really stepped us his game in recruiting lately and deserves a chance to make some magic with these great new faces. 

ChiTown: Good for him. Manuel obviously has confidence in him, and he believes things are heading in the right direction. This adds some more stability to the program, and will help with recruiting, which is something that he has been doing very well in.

2010: I agree with Coach getting two more years.  He has had some nice recruits lately and I believe that he really did a strong job coaching last year.  Coach is start to build up some talent with his coaching skills.  If after the two years UB is the same the it is time to make a change. 

BRJACR: Coach Witherspoon is a good coach, no doubt about it.  And I really do hope he's the one to finally get UB into the dance.  But he has to get it done, PERIOD.  I personally think the extension is a little pre-mature, but I can understand the reasoning behind it.