Last year:DO name a starter at QB and stick with it, like right now.
Result:Licata was named QB early and he had one of the best seasons under center in UB history, and he has two more years to develop.
This year:DO develop weapons for Licata. Can you name the returning wideouts for the Bulls? McGill, Shay, Dixon, Hughes, Dunmore, Robinson, Eiland, Willoughby, Ross and Martinez. Dixon Hughes and Dunmore
Last year:If you follow the 1st "DO" and said QB is not Alex Zordich, DONT sit him on the bench, find a place for him, I'm thinking fullback. If that doesn't work, make sure there is a wildcat style formation with Zordich that presses the defense with his throwing and running ability.
Result:Zordich played 25 snaps this year. He was fed to Baylor's "run stopping but no pass defense" defense for some reason, maybe Jeff Quinn hates him. I sure hate Quinn's use of Z who took the worst time of the year to employ Z as a change of pace, which discouraged the use of Z when it could have actually worked, like against Bowling Green at the Ralph.
This year:DONT leave Campbell in limbo again. He wasn't the backup RB this year, although he could have helped against Stony Brook. He wasn't really a receiver. He IS the best return man we have. Define a role for Campbell and use him. He was a playmaker who I often felt was left on the sideline when we needed a play.
Last year:DO Flesh out the Alex(squared)cat. You put Zordich, Dennison and BO in the backfield out of the shotgun on 3rd and 2, and watch the opposing D-Cordinators wet themselves trying to stop the limitless possibilities of that formation.
Result:UB generally eschewed the tricks in favor driving BO up the middle. I wasn't that happy with it. The lack of mobility from Licata puts us in a bad place on 3rd and short. Overall, UB was 64% on 3rd and 3 or less, a decent number, although I'd expect higher success for a power run team in a power run situation. Going inside the numbers, I deem that lack of creativity was a problem in 3rd and short
This year:DO figure out how to be creative and work on your trickeration timing.
Last year:DONT let Lou Tepper repeat whatever it was he was doing in 2012, I don't technically think I can call it defense.
Result:By most indications this was the best UB defense in the FBS era. Since 2007, the 2013 defense was best in Sacks per game, 3rd down % and second in points allowed and turnovers forced. However, the Bulls were the second worse UB team since 2007 in yards per play allowed, coincidentally, the only team that was worse was the 2008 Bulls.
This year:DONT allow Tepper business as usual. Year 3 of Tepper, but we no longer have Steven Means, Khalil Mack, Colby Way. I fear the system hurt us against top competition in 2012 and 2013, I really fear what will happen in 2014 as we break in a lot of new talent.
Last year:DO Recruit another Kicker, someone who can push Tyler Grassman would be nice, but more importantly we need someone who can blast the kickoff out of the endzone consistently.
Result:Well T Grass showed me by having a great punting year. However he only managed a touchback on 17% of kicks, UB was 107th in the nation in touchback percentage. UB was also 2nd last in the nation with 6 kickoffs out of bounds. There was also this:
This year:DO find a punt returner, the fair catch method hurt us in big games.
Last year:DONT give BO 300 carries again.
Result:BO finished with 310 carries, and as a result we have no clear heir to the UB running game.
This year:DONT do it again. BO was a horse, I am not sure if another back can handle the work load that Quinn desires one back to shoulder.
Last year:DO Redshirt Devin Campbell (the extension makes this possible.) If Potts is back to 100% in 2013, then we don't necessarily need 3 running backs. Save Campbell for 2014 where he and Potts can fight for the #1 job.
Result:Campbell finished with 914 yards on 63 touches, 4th on the team in touches and 3rd on the team in all-purpose yards.
This year:DO use underclassmen. In preparation for the Licata senior year of 2015, we need Juniors Devin Campbell and Matt Weiser and Sophomores Boise Ross and Mason Schreck to build on the success they had in 2013.
Last year:DONT put away the Jugs Machine. Get every WR not named Neutz in front of the jugs machine, everyday until August 31.
Result:Last year UB's non-Neutz returning receivers had 60 receptions, 691 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fred Lee worked hard and in 2013 he had 58 receptions, 692 yards and 5 TDs alone in 2013.
This year:DONT put away the Jugs Machine. The non-Neutz, non-Lee returning receivers caught 28 balls for 374 yards and 2 TDs in 2013. We need someone to fill the void left by Neutz AND someone to explode onto the scene like Lee did in 2013.
Last year:DO bust out the balls on strings and teach the defense to force fumbles. We forced 6 fumbles all year, and recovered only 3.
Result:Buffalo forced 16 fumbles and recovered 15.
This year:DONT regress on pressure. UB had 72 sacks over the last two years which is the 8th best in the country. 51% of those sacks came from NFL caliber stars Steven Means, Colby Way and Khalil Mack. So if we are going to prove the system wasn't held together by Elmer's glue and Khalil's massive biceps, we should start by posting another 30+ sack season.
Last year:DONT tell me this was all part of a process, When UB wins some meaningful games, THEN we can talk about progress and the process.
Result:UB had their best regular season in FBS, however, UB still really didn't win a meaningful game, leaving Ohio 2011 as the only signature win in the Quinn era.
This year:DO prove it was part of a process, by winning 6 or more games in 2014. We've often said 2014 will be the defining year. The 2012 team was talented but only won 4 games, and many put that on coaching. The 2013 team was great, but was that talent overcoming poor coaching? 2014 will tell. A junior QB, but a lot of new talent (all recruited by Quinn). If the team falls to the bottom of the MAC, it won't be pretty. If they stay in the middle of the MAC, the question will be passed to 2015, where in his sixth season as coach, Quinn will have a senior multi-year starter for the first time since Willy in 2008, and UB fans will have 2008 expectations.