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Buffalo Bulls Football: Is 2014, Bowl Eligibility, Salvageable?

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The last three games for UB have all been losses, and the Bulls will need to win out to salvage the season. The first step is tonight against Ohio in Peden Stadium.

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

After our preseason prediction edition of Last Bull In was over I confided in the other editors. "Guys," I said, "I know I said we would go 7-5 but I see the potential for this season to go sideways in a big way. I could see this team getting just four or five wins."

Why not say this on air? Well because I honestly believed seven or eight wins was the ceiling for this team and when I am wearing my Bull Run hat I tend to be an optimist. UB had a cake schedule, a good quarterback, and a phenomenal offensive line. In the MAC, when playing two FCS teams and Army squad that should have been good for six to eight wins even during a rebuilding year.

Nowhere in my wildest imagination did I see UB firing Jeff Quinn six games into the season, but here we are. Alex Wood's first game as UB's coach saw a terrible offensive output. UB's 14 points against CMU was the second-worst UB output over the past two seasons.

Thomas Fuller wrote "It is always darkest just before the day dawneth." Today we say "It's always darkest before the dawn". Perhaps this year's edition of the UB Bulls can prove that proverb to be true. Could 3-5 be the darkest this season will get?

Tonight against Ohio the Bulls can indeed start to brighten their season. Six wins is still possible but with a tough Akron team coming and a road date to a surprisingly good UMass team the Bulls have no breathing room.

So who has beaten Ohio this year and how did they do it?

Ohio has lost to three MAC teams: Bowling Green, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan.

In those three losses the Ohio defense gave up either 4.4 or 4.5 yards per carry and it seems no matter how well, or poorly, their offense played, those numbers were enough to sink the Bobcats. It seems to be the only consistent factor in their losses.

So UB's hopes for a victory against the Cats seems to ride on the legs of Anthone Taylor and Jordan Johnson. UB's two bruising backs, and the line in front of them, have to play way better than they did against the Chips. If Buffalo fails to run, or just decides to have Joe Licata throw every down, than UB is in for a long night.

UB's quarterback may set a school record for career touchdown passes tonight but if that's the only offensive bright spot then the script here will play out like it did in Alex Wood's debut.

On defense the Bulls need to bring the intensity that they had last week. Their secondary has shown some improvement during the year and the team is blitzing more because of it.

Right after the EMU loss I was worried that "salvaging the season" would mean salvaging Quinn. Now that we no longer have to worry about that I'm ready to see UB start winning games again.