Licata, in his first career road start, found himself in a hole. UB was down 13-0 at the half to UMass in 2012. Since then, UB has outscored the Minutemen 102-30.
The story of the series has been the trenches, namely UB's offensive and defensive lines dominating their Minutemen counterparts.
In three games UB has run 135 times for 692 yards while surrendering 399 yards on 87 carries. UB has won the rushing battle in three games by almost 100 yards a game.
The UMass D-line has sacked Licata three times in three games, while UB has sacked UMass 16 times in that same time span.
Before Licata warmed up, the defense stymied UMass, despite UMass initially controlling field position. The missed field goal, a backbreaker in a few games this year, was mitigated by the defense shutting down UMass and getting the ball back to Licata.
So while the UMass game was a showcase of Joe Licata's skills and a nice sendoff for Devon Hughes, I was mostly impressed with the improvement of the defense since the firing of Jeff Quinn.
|Category||3 Quinn MAC Games||4 Wood MAC Games|
|Total Yards/play allowed||6.71||4.67|
UB is 2 yards per play better on defense, and 8 points better on the scoreboard, and even that is understated due to garbage time scores in our last two big blowout wins.
UB is still near the bottom of every defensive category in the MAC, however if the team played at this level all season, they would be:
6th in points allowed
1st in Sacks per game
1st in Yards Per Play
There was a decent defense in Buffalo this year, but Quinn couldn't find it, Wood did a much better job. He may not be back at Buffalo, but for a QB guru, the chart above should be on his resume, this guy can coach a team up.