One week ago I saw each and every unit on the field put in a lackluster, gutless, sloppy, and altogether maddening performance against Temple. This week it was only the special teams unit that let us down. Despite the poor record its far enough into the season to say, pretty clearly, that there has been a ton of progress this season.
NIU was a team that could easily have poured salt in the wound by laying down a beating similar to the one that they put on us last season and the Bulls gave them ample opportunity.
It's hard not to be proud of the Bulls, who played one of the better teams in the conference, led by the best player in the conference and they gave the Huskies all they could handle. Obviously my reaction last week was off, completely off. This team is far better than last years addition and is close to turning a corner.
The game started, as so many do, with the Buffalo offense going three and then a long drive by whoever is lucky enough to play the Bulls this week.
The defense stiffens forces a punt and then, Ed Young coughs it up. Also in the first quarter there was a Branden Oliver fumble. All in all Buffalo fumbles three times, turned it over twice. Yet the defense kept the Bulls in the game and the first frame ended tied at three.
The offenses woke up in the second but despite putting up 31 points the Bulls held Chandler Harnish to just 217 yards. The third lowest total of the year and far blow his average which was, at kickoff, tenth in the nation. They made stops when they were asked to, they kept the Bulls in the contest throughout.
Lee Skinner is the defensive stand out. Ten tackles is great but was better is how well he bottled up Harnish. Skinner stayed home and fundamentally was solid.
Speaking of offense, Branden Oliver is now number six in all time 100 yard games and number four in single season one hundred yard games. He continues to prove each and every early season critic wrong. He is, and he deserves to be UB's feature back.
Someone else who is proving their worth is Chazz Anderson who thew for more yards today than any quarterback in UBs division one history.
Now, for the one unit who phoned this game in.
Coach Quinn, for the love of Football make one of the coaches a devoted and singular special teams coach.
Take the tight ends and coach them with the line and receivers. Make Marty Spieler fully accountable for the train wreck that costs you a football game today.
We have to "co" special teams coaches and its not working.
The talent of Terrell Jackson carried the return teams but field goal kicking has been an adventure all season.
Kicking an extra point should feel like using the loo, not like diffusing a bomb. When anything can happen on every fair catch, every field goal attempt, and your kickoffs its time to look at the people who are setting up those situations.