The Buffalo Bulls survived a scare against NEC member Dusquesne. The Dukes lit up Buffalo through the air, scoring three third quarter touchdowns all via the air. This week UB will have to worry a bout the ground game of the Army Black Knights, a team who regularly has one of the more potent running attacks in the nation.
This summer John Furgele too a look at the Army offense.
How the Army Option Offense Works - Bull Run
It’s a tough offense, because of the many options the quarterback has. He can keep the ball, give it to the fullback, or a running back, or pass it. Most plays begin with the fullback grabbing the ball. The quarterback puts the ball in the fullback’s belly, then decides right there and then to let him keep it or pull it out. The fullback always thinks he’s getting the ball. Like the spread, all the decision making is placed on the quarterback. Teams that run the option really don’t like passing. If Army throws the ball more than 10 times in a game it’s probably a sign that they’re losing. If option teams aren’t running successfully, they’re in trouble.
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To give you an idea of how tricky this offense be to defend consider that UB needed overtime to beat Army the last time they played in 2008. That was the year UB won the MAC by trouncing #12 Ball State but Army gave us all we could handle.
This year the Army team will once again be led by senior quarterback Angel Santiago. The quarterback will the throwing for a new coach but the system remains the same.
Jeff Monken, a one time position coach for the Buffalo Bulls (1992–1994) eventually landed at Georgia Southern where he ran an option offense. Last season Monken took the option into the swamp and kept the Florida Gators out of the post season.
Monken's feat, and Army's powerful need for a coach steeped in the option offense made the offseason firing almost a foregone conclusion. Coach Monken now has his first FBS head coaching job and the opening game of "The Monken Era" will be against a team he helped to bring into division one football.
This will be the third time the two teams have squared up since UB joined the Bowl Subdivision. In 2001 thewent to West Point jumped out to a 15 to zero lead over but the Knights clawed back into the game and took a 19-18 lead early in the 4th quarter. Half way through the final frame Marquis Dwarte plunged into the end zone from three yards out for what would be the winning score as Buffalo beat Army 26-19.
In 2008 the Black Knights came to Buffalo and built up a 24-10 lead over Buffalo going into the fourth Quarter. This time it was UB that had to claw their way back into the game. Finally the Bulls prevailed in overtime.
Between UB's poor showing in the opening week and Army's unique offense this could be an interesting game. Be sure to visit us often this week for updates, stories, and perspectives.