In 7 days days the Buffalo Bulls, coming off of just their second winning season in the FBS era, are going to start spring training. The hope is that the Bulls will earn a second consecutive bowl birth for the first time in more than a century of UB football. To do that there are some things to watch out for this spring.
Over the next week Bull Run will talk about some of the things we are looking for. The first Question, thanks to an off season surgery is at Quarterback.
After losing a ton of talent there are questions all over the roster but one area where the Bulls seemed set this coming fall is Quarterback. If he recovers to 100% Joe Licata is almost certainly UB's go to guy next season. The soon to be Junior has been starting at Buffalo since half way through his freshman year and has several UB career passing marks in his sights.
But this is not an article about what Licata will do this spring, because Licata will not be playing ball this spring.
After the 2013 season ended Licata required hip surgery which will keep him off the field until at least June. The Bulls will send two quarterbacks into spring ball who are all fighting for the role of backup quarterback.
Sophomore Collin Michael was one a standout quarterbacks in Ohio state prep football who was known for his athleticism and strong arm. A knee injury mid way thorough his high school career transformed him into more of a traditional pocket passer but underneath it all his is still the guy who ran for 14 touchdowns in three seasons of play. Still mobility issues aside he is still a guy who you want in a well formed pocked because he has a cannon for n arm.
As both a second and third string signal caller Tony Daniel has had good spring games in the past. He also has some very helpful on the field experience. Daniel is a "change of pace" quarterback in that he is far more likely to make a play with his legs than Licata. He is not a dynamic runner but he is an effective tough player, very much in the mold of last years backup, Alex Zordich.
UB has to address the losses at wide out so each player has a great chance so show some chemistry with the receivers who will be fighting for starting jobs.
Daniel and Michael are going to be working with Alex Wood this season. Don Patterson, last years Quarterbacks coach, took a job as the offensive coordinator at UConn in January. Patterson came to UB after the 2010 season, before then he had been a head coach at the Football Championship Series (FCS) level with Western Illinois. Patterson spent 10 seasons at Western Illinois, compiling a 62-45 overall record before illness forced him to step away from coaching for a year.
Wood was already on staff but changed over to Quarterbacks coach after Paterson left. He was already UB's offensive coordinator but had poured his position focus into the wide receivers. Wood has prior experience as a Quarterbacks coach with the Minnesota Vikings so this is not his first time working with signal callers.
So who will emerge as the starter for the spring game?