Since Drew Willy graduated in 2008 Buffalo has started each and every season with a New Quarterback, and their opening day starter has always been someone with zero starting experience. Maynard left for Cal, Davis never got off the ground leading the Anderson transfer which gave way to Zordich starting last season.
Were it not for an injury against Toledo Zordich may have finished the season and became the first Multi year starter at UB in five seasons. But the Junior did go down against theRockets paving the way for Licata.
Before coming to Buffalo Licata smashed nearly every passing record in Western New York and was considered to be one of Jeff Quinn's best recruits of the 2010 class. Zordich come to UB as a late addition to the class of 2009 after Jeff Quinn Took over.
Licata as UB's starter means a huge schematic change in the UB offense. Licata is stylistically the exact opposite of Alex Zordich. Where Zordich is a solid running quarterback whose strength is not his passing prowess Licata has a strong arm but won't burn many teams with his legs. It makes Licata a bit more susceptible to blitzes than Zordich but when he has time Joe can deliver a far tighter pass down field than Alex can.
Once Licata took over UB did something that has only happened once since their transition to the Bowl Subdivision. The Bulls won three straight games to turn their season from dumpster fire into a minor disappointment.
During the wins over Miami, UMass, and Western Michigan Licata threw for almost 700 yards. During the streak he put up five touchdowns against just two interceptions. Most impressively the Freshman did it with a depleted backfield and no established second or third receiver.
This season Licata has the most experienced set of skill positions that the Bulls have had since 2009, he also returns 60% of an offensive line that has gotten better each of the past two seasons. He might be off to a rough start with Ohio State and Baylor in the opening weeks. Once past that, and by the time UB settles into their conference slate, the Bulls may be led by the most potent UB aerial attack that the MAC has seen in years.