The Buffalo Bulls end the season at 5 - 6 and third in the MAC East. The season saw head coach Jeff Quinn relieved on his coaching duties, a winter storm denying coach Wood a winning record, a very ripe weak MAC East, and not being selected to appear in a Bowl Game. Tim, Conrad, Matt, and I provide our grades on the 2014 Bulls.
Tim: B+ his long ball still needs work. A lot of those long strikes to Willoughby might have gone for six if he hit him clean rather than just putting it up for grabs.
Conrad: B+ Licata TDs everywhere, also had a few big drops that would have been TDs remember the Baylor game? However two big INTs in the red zone in two big losses prevent him from getting a better grade.
Matt: A-. Could have been an A but for the midseason lull. Most notably EMU. I don't care what the raw stats say in that game.
David: D The QB has to be the leader of the team. The middle of the season the offense looked lost. That is on Joe in his third season to keep focus. Still his real lack of true arm strength limits his output. Best offensive line Joe will play in front, a real threat at RB, and a team of receivers and TE's and what appears to be a strong season was mediocre at best. The competition except for Baylor was average. Joe shouldn't have been average.
Offensive Line: B+
Tim: B- They would be higher but checked out for the CMU and Ohio Games.
Conrad: A When the Passing game and running game are breaking records, the OL is doing it's job.
Matt: A- #3 rushing offense, t-3 sacks against in the MAC. They were easily the most consistent unit on the team.
David: B My grade is bitter on two must wins games that the line lost focus on, CMU and Ohio. Grade should be higher with time for Licata and multiple successful running backs.
Running Backs: A-
Tim: A- Taylor and Johnson both looked very good.
Conrad: A- :Taylor put in work
Matt: B+ #3 rushing offense but not as good as the passing game. Strong in pass protection and good to see Johnson come back at same level as before
David: B+. Overall Taylor was amazing to watch. Injury to Johnson put the load on Taylor and the running game went south in the teeth of the MAC schedule.
Tight Ends: C
Tim: C A few moments of great play but mostly just adequate.
Conrad: C- Drops, not as impactful as I would like.
Matt: C+ I expected more than 25 combined catches for Weiser and Shreck. Did have 4 TD's., which bumps them up from C. I remember more than a few drops.
David: C TE's did a good job in pass protection and running blocking. Some key drops trump the amazing TD catch against Akron. The TE's should have been a bigger part of the offensive equation.
Wide Receivers: B
Tim: B There is a lot of potential but too many days when receiver #3 was not on fire.
Conrad: B OLAS and Willoughby looked like Lee and Neutz
Matt: B Pleasantly surprised with the depth. Hughes the latest in a line of Rivers, Lee, to finish strong. 5 receivers with 2+ catches/game, with 3+ tds.
David: A: Biggest question mark coming into the season and this unit was deeper than expected. Willoughby is not Neutz but Joe threw many rainbows in double coverage that were caught. My highlight is Martinez, I can't wait to see his career at UB.
Defensive Line: C
Tim: C+ Given an impossible task by Teppers scheme but still had a great finish to the year.
Conrad: C Got gashed against Army and EMU and Ohio, curved up due to Tepper D.
Matt: C- True story UB 4th in MAC in sacks/game.
David: B Sokoli was often best player on the field for both teams. Really wish Kristin had one more year of eligibility. Help from a strong secondary could have helped this unit.
Tim: B Tepper may be a mediocre defensive coordinator but our LB's have been pretty good.
Conrad: B- Got good pressure when let loose.
Matt: C Would be much worse without Skinner. UB gave up 3rd-most rushing TD's in MAC
David: D Came to play late in the season and looked foolish against Army. As the secondary started to improve, the LB's were the weak link on defense.
Secondary & Safeties: D
Tim: D The play improved as the year went on, but on balance,they cost us a lot of games this season.
Conrad: D: Awful, all year long, no INTs no coverage.
Matt: D+ - only two interceptions, lower in the MAC in passes defended. Redden's excellence at the LOS gets the the +
David: C When Ross got acclimated to coverage the unit was strong. A shame that Ross had to be switched to the defensive side of the ball. Lester and Redden played better than many will give credit to.
Special Teams: D-
Tim: F Muff punts, missed kicks... When your punter is the only guy making noise on ST that's a problem.
Conrad: F Punt PR and KR teams were decent, but the FG kicking was so bad it cost us a MAC championship.
Matt: C Punting: B+: very good punting year from Grassman and the coverage team. Rarely outkicked his guys, limited returns. Everyone else: D-: As much on the coach ing decisions as the execution. no one could catch a punt. whither Devin Campbell? Patrick Clarke.
David: F Terrible. Worst part of this team.
Tim: F for the Quinn equation.... Ill give Wood a B- for going 2-2.
Conrad: D+: F for 6 games, B- once Quinn left
Matt: C Quinn Era: D Wood Era: B- : CMU game was winnable, Ohio game a disgusting stain, but Akron, UMass good memories of a tough season and testament to Wood. Would have destroyed KSU
David: A+ Quinn showed what he is capable of and ushered in a new era of Bulls football. Sick and Twisted grade, yes, but it was time for a change. Shame that bad performance had to create the needed change. I try not to preach to often but want to really thank Coach Wood on the transition. A class of a man who somehow took a train wreck of a defense and made it respectable. Should have had a winning record. Thank you Coach Wood, and I hope to see you on the sidelines again really soon. Hopefully as a coach in the MAC.
Tim: C- Once again we had OK attendance on nice days but people disappeared at the half.
Conrad: C+ Can't blame the fans for feeling let down, helps when the team loses bad games, like Army and EMU. Came up big for the blackout, not fans fault UB couldnt stay competitive.
Matt: Other than one in 2010 and one in 2011 This year was my first games at UB Stadium since 2008 so I am not going to answer. No perspective.
David: B I would have loved to seen this atmosphere before games with Gill's tenure. Shame that Quinn's product did nothing to create an event to attend. Baylor game was awesome with concerts, DJ's, fans, and so much more.
Overall Grade: C
Matt notes are UB was actually very good on 3rd downs: fewest first downs against in the MAC, 3rd in 3rd downs for, 2nd in 3rd downs against. But absolute worst by a long shot in stopping fourth downs: opponents converting 74% of the time. awful