1) Tyree is not the same without AJ on the field
UB’s passing defense has really struggled since after the Rutgers game. Once (Army) was an oddity, twice (CMU) is a coincidence, and three times (Akron) is a pattern.
He’s not making terrible decisions, for the most part he is finding the open guy and making the right throw. But his throws are a bit off despite usually having time.
Thankfully UB has a stable of really good running backs and a line that has been able to deliver the space they need to win games. But the big play ability of this team is only a shell of what we saw through the 4-0 starts.
1A) Tyree is a better runner now than he was during his freshman year
Side note: It was nice to see Tyree running a bit but more than that it was nice to see him running only when he had to and making sure to avoid contact at the end of the plays.
It’s not as highlight film worthy as some of his freshman running, but it works about as well and will keep him healthy. It’s just another example of how much he has matured.
2) This defense is for real
I know Akron is not exactly lighting up the ground game but the effort by UB’s defense was impressive, as was their ability to force Akron to put the ball on the ground.
It’s nice to know that while our passing game has slowed down that the Defense can pick up some of the slack.
3) Nice to see Mitcheson and the kicking unit start to get things right
He’s had a really rough year, and it’s not all on him. So the improvement by Adam and the players on the kicking unit is becoming a bit more reliable.
He is 3 for four on field goals over the past two weeks, with the one miss coming from more than forty yards out. He’s also 7-7 on extra points.
4) Still a lot of tests ahead
While every week is a test, of sorts, three games jump out at me as being big road blocks.
1 - Toledo - The Rockets took a loss in Ypsi last week and while they are not playing at the level they’ve been at the past 4 years they are still a darn dangerous team and we’re playing in their house.
2 - Miami - The Redhawks have really come on strong since they started slowly this season. They have won three out of their last four, losing to Western Michigan by only a point. They have also been scoring more than 30 a game.
3 - Ohio - Because Athens itself is a house of horrors.
Buffalo is the only undefeated team left (conference play) in the MAC East but Miami is 3-1 and Ohio is 1-1 with a close loss at NIU. Many people are trying to crown UB as “the team to beat in the MAC East” but I’d say Ohio still has some claim to that and Miami is not going to go away.
5) Bonus Thought .... Gill could be Bowling this year
ICYMI - Liberty upset Troy and they are not 3-3 on the year with four winnable games remaining. They also have a backup agreement for the Cure bowl should the American not have enough teams.
Right now the American has 6 teams with winning record to fill seven bowl slots, combine that with the fact they are likely to send on to the contract bowl and it looks like Gill might take the flames to a Bowl game.