When we were badly out played in Akron I thought to myself, we could lose against UMass. And then the Bulls came out flat and spotted the minutemen 14 points. I'm convinced the Bulls could have won if they embraced the weather like UMass did.
UMass is a pass heavy team with a good quarterback and some talented receivers. Confronted with 30 mile an hour winds and driving rain they threw only 22 times and ran the ball 49 times. The Bulls have a good one two punch at running back.
Once again UB threw the ball 40 times, and once again they lost.
Don't Blame Joe Licata
Did Licata regress a bit this year? Yes.
Perhaps he regressed because of a new system or an offensive line which played markedly worse than he has seen since 2012. For whatever reason he did take a very step back.
But by week 12 it's the coaching staffs job to know this and plan around it. We had a first and goal at the five. One pass dropped in the endzone and the other a hopeless fade that was picked off.
Not *once* did we run Taylor or Johnson. That's not Joe Licata's fault.
It's also worth noting that the pick which ended the game was the second dropped pass of the drive.
This staff has a lot of work to do
For the most part I loved the half time adjustments we have seen this year but we usually came out of the gates flat, spotting our opponents points. This is not a matter of desire, this is a matter of having a game plan aimed at the opponent and executing it well from the opening kickoff.
Also something needs to be done about the offense. Perhaps UB needs a year under the system or Tyree will be better. Either way the offensive coaching should be under a microscope.
5-7 is seriously disappointing but it's not like the MAC will be way stronger next year. The fact Buffalo football has come far enough to consider 5-7 a dissapointing start to a coaches Buffalo career is telling. Jeff Quinn went 2-10 as did Turner Gill. Hofher went 3-8 as did Cirbus. The last UB coach to have 4 or more wins to open his career was Jim Ward back in 1992.
Replacing Joe Licata will be difficult but with a year under his belt in this system and another off season to go Tyree Jackson might be the answer. I suspect that by the time we get to nthe spring game it will be either him or Chris Merchant.
To get some stock on what 5-7 is consider this.
At Western Michigan Bill Cubit coached from 2005 to 20012 and had just 3 losing seasons, the worst of which was 4-8. He was replaced by PJ Fleck who might be a bit of a clown but is a good coach non the less went 1-11 his first season. In that year they squeaked by UMass and lost to EMU in overtime.
Am I saying Lance is destined to make us 8-5 next season? Assuming we fill in game 4 with an FCS team, and I 've heard smAlbany whisperings, than 2-2 out of conference is probable and 3-1 is possible. I could see 8-5 depending on how we develop at the QB position.
Our recruiting is good, though it slowed down in November, hiring Greene to follow up White means stable leadership, and the Leipold Era is about to begin.
In the mean time lets just enjoy some hoops.