For the better part of three seasons Alex Neutz was the go to guy for UB Quarterbacks. Now the Bulls will not only have to deal with the loss of Neutz but also the loss of Fred Lee. That means Joe Licata will have to live without the #2 and #8 UB receivers of all time and will instead have a set of players who combine to rank 7th all time, and who only hold a two hundred yard advantage over Fred Lee's carer total while being and almost 2,000 yards back of Alex Neutz.
The silver lining for Buffalo is that despite a big drop off in production the experience of the players returning is not in question.
Between Hughes, Dunmore, UB has two receivers coming into the year that have spent either four or five seasons learning the Buffalo offense. So there is little excuse for poor chemistry between Licata and his receivers.
While it may be a bit much to expect any one of the receivers to have an Alex Neutz like season the Bulls should be able to cobble together a couple of thousand throwing yards for Joe Licata and the offense.
Aside from the upperclassmen like Hughes, Dunmore, Ross and Willoughby one name to know will be Boise Ross.
Last season, as a true freshman, Ross played in nine games and had 13 catches for 156 yards. That ranks first among returning wide receivers, outside of Devin Campbell. It's a fair bet that Ross is one of UB's three starting receivers this season.
Along with Ross will be Devon Hughes who has shows the tools needed to be a number one receiver but has never had the opportunity because of Neutz and Lee. Hughes only caught seven passes last season but two of those went for touchdowns and his 13 yards per reception was third on the team.
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It's the third position which seems up for grabs. Ron Willioughby plays a similar style to Neutz and he has seen the field more than most of the returning receivers.
Regardless of who wins the starting roles UB will probably not succeed in the passing game if the once again try to be a one man show in the passing game. Joe Licata doesn't have a receiver like Neutz on the field who will be consistently effective when attempting to wrestling in long passes over the top of two defensive back. He will need to spread the ball around more and gind gaps in coverage.
Between Licata and the line UB has the potential for a potent passing game this year, can the receivers step up?