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Buffalo Bulls Game By Game Preview - Albany

Versus
Bufalo Bulls
Albany Great Danes
Date / Time Saturday, September 2nd / 7:00PM
Television ESPN3
Venue UB Stadium. The pregame tailgate concert will feature Jerrod Lee Niemann
Storyline

The post-Licata era begins in Buffalo when the Albany Great Danes, of the Colonial Athletics Association, travels to UB for a season-opening contest.

In addition to Joe Licata, the Bulls offense lost several linemen, Anthone Taylor, and two of their top receivers. Much of the spring and summer have been spent filling those roles.

Series History

This is a series which had a bit of bite to it during the 1980's when both New York State Universities played at the same level.

Buffalo first played Albany in 1978, one season after UB relaunched their football program. The Bulls took the first meeting by a 15-8 score but over the next ten seasons, the teams would play every year with the end result being Albany holding a 7-4 record against the Bulls.

Last year was the first season the teams met as Division I institutions. Albany plays in the Colonial Athletic Association (FCS) and the Bulls in the Mid-American Conference (FBS)

Last Meeting

2015 Buffalo Bulls 51, Albany Great Danes 14

There were questions of offensive specifics, of how the defense, poor at best last season, would look with a new scheme and lots of new players. By game's end, questions and concerns were quelled when Leipold's Bulls steamrolled the Great Danes 51-14. All three phases of the game looked good, with both new and old players standing out across the board.

Rankings FCS Composite Ranking - 83 of 125
Big Names

Albany sophomore running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks led the Danes in rushing last season and twice won the CAA's offensive rookie of the week award. He may turn into one of the CAA's best backs in the coming years.

During their spring game, Ibitokun-Hanks put up 45 yards on eight carries.

On the other side of the ball Junior Malachi Hoskins and Julian Cox anchor the front seven. Hoskins won a CAA defensive player of the week last season Cox was a CAA Co-Defensive Rookie of the Year, the ECAC Division I FCS Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a member of the Third-Team All-CAA Defense.

Key Matchups

  • Bulls Offensive line vs Hoskins and Cox: Specifically the new starters versus an Albany front seven that tries to bring pressure and force mistakes. During their spring scrimmage the defense forced three fumbles and intercepted four passes. A lot of those miscues were driven by pressure.
  • McGill / Martinez vs Johnson Robinson: While all eyes will gravitate towards UB's new starting quarterback the bigger question is can Marcus McGill and Jacob Martinez step in for Ron Willoughby (Graduation) and Collin Lisa (UAB Transfer). For several years the Bulls long ball has been more "throw it up for grabs" than "pitch, catch, run". It would be nice to see open receivers get a good pass and run this year.
Prediction

Tim - I'm going to say 42 to 17: My only huge concern this season is on the offensive line but if they come together we have the potential to be a far better team than last year.

Matt - Buffalo 2020 - Albany 0

Robby - Buffalo 45 - Albany 14

John - Win, 42-20. If UB loses this game I'll eat my shoe on Bulls and Beers.

Conrad - Albany. An anagram for Great Danes is Gas and tree. We are gonna gas up the Albany tree and burn it down.

David - Buffalo 26 -  Danes 14