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Buffalo Bulls Football vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Game Preview

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NCAA Football: Buffalo at Northern Illinois Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After a long off season, I can happily say that Buffalo Bulls football has returned! After a tough 2-10 campaign last season, the Bulls are looking to bounce back with a strong 2017. This season still has its questions, but one of them will not be who starts at quarterback. After spending all of the 2016 off season wondering who would be the primary signal caller, the Bulls enter 2017 knowing that Tyree Jackson is in charge of the offense. The redshirt sophomore feels poised for a strong season as he has enjoyed the luxury of a full off season to work with the first team offense.

We also know that the Bulls return all three linebackers on the defensive side of the ball. This should be helpful with improving the run defense as well as providing leadership in the middle of the defense. There are still some questions about the line however those should not be as big as last season. Let’s get to the important part though, the Minnesota game.

Game Preview

I’ve spent a lot of time this off season wondering how I feel about this game. Obviously, everyone was disappointed last year. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about opening day. The Bulls are matching up with a Golden Gopher’s team that is also facing a lot of turnover. If you don’t know by now, PJ Fleck is the new captain of this ship. We all know that Fleck is a high energy guy so I don’t expect his team to be lacking energy. What I do kind of expect is a sort of “first game let down.” This team has changed their offense, defense, and had a lot of players transfer. That could spell trouble game one.

The Gophers’ also don’t have a starting quarterback. They’re currently facing the same issue we had last year where they are playing multiple quarterbacks. That could result in an offensive lull if they can’t get a flow going. That being said, Minnesota is still a B1G team. That means they will have some big bodies up front that may be able to work the Bulls defensive line. If that’s the case, look for the Golden Gophers to keep the ball on the ground and pound the Bulls until they make a mistake.

As for how the Buffalo offense matches up with the Minnesota defense, I feel that this is favorable in some regards. Minnesota has a weak secondary, and Tyree Jackson has a cannon for an arm. If given the chance to stretch the field, the Bulls may have the opportunity for some big plays. The Bulls offensive line is strong this season and I expect that may show early. I would love to see the Bulls improve on offensive longevity that they lacked last season. A few first downs early in the game will go a long way and could lead to a closer game than a lot of fans are ready for.

Prediction

I think this game will be close. Maybe I’m just getting caught up in the new seasons excitement but I feel good about this game. If the Bulls can catch Minnesota overlooking them, they can play early season spoiler to the new Gopher coaching regime. All that being said, I just don’t believe that UB is a strong enough team to win. I have the Gophers taking this one 27-17. I think UB gains some respect but in the end falls short. I hope to be wrong and I can’t wait for this season to get rolling.

***End Note***

The game preview will hopefully improve as the season progresses. Everyone at BullRun have very busy lives that sometimes interferes with writing production and time allocated to learning about the Bulls. I was personally booked heavy this summer with multiple jobs and preparing True Blue for the upcoming year. Now that the season is back, I expect my production for the Blog to increase and my football coverage will be more complete and thorough. Thanks for understanding everyone, and go Bulls!