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Opponent Stat Preview: Central Michigan

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

State University of New York at Buffalo Bulls (2-3) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (2-4)

The Bulls head to Mt. Pleasant this weekend to take on a MAC West foe in the Chips. Central Michigan's 2-4 record may be a bit misleading on how their season has fared thus far. Their losses have come against 3 P5 opponents (Syracuse, Oklahoma St., Michigan St.) and a close loss in K-Zoo to WMU. Their largest margin of defeat came against a nationally-ranked MSU squad by 20 points, which is far from a blow-out. Cooper Rush has been proving he is in the top echelon of MAC QBs, and the Chips are coming off of a huge win over NIU last weekend

UB is coming off of a bye-week and has lost two straight. Joe Licata has not been meeting the expectations of many so far, and it seems like game to game UB struggles to find it's identity on offense. The combo of Taylor and Johnson has proven to be effective at many times this season, but the pass-rush balance isn't playing to our strengths. 186 passes to 167 rushes is nearly balanced, but I would like to see more rushes per game than pass attempts. Hopefully the week off will show us some rejuvenation.

CMU 156 232 38.7 67.2% 1811
CMU Opps 90 153 25.5 58.8% 1051
Bulls 119 189 37.8 63.0% 1251
CMU 301.8 12 5
CMU Opps 175.2 8 3
Bulls 250.2 7 5

Cooper Rush is giving Matt Johnson a run for his money for top of the MAC stats this season. Matty J may get all of the attention, but Rush is quietly having a very solid season. He throws for just under 300 yards a game, has a good completion percentage, and a respectable TD:INT ratio. Again, remember who the Chips have played so far - these aren't numbers against cupcakes.

Taking a look a the opponents of CMU, one thing that surprises me is the amount pass attempts per game. At just over 25 passing attempts per game, the opponents of Central have been really putting an emphasis on the run game. 38.7 rushing attempts per game for an average of 165 yards to be exact.

This is where UB needs to find their identity, and its not Joe Licata attempting more than 30 passes a game. It's been proven in by history that that game plan does not usually work in our favor. UB needs consistent, long-drives to keep the CMU defense on the field, and Cooper Rush and his weapons off of it.

Passing 55.7% 1055 221 5 4
Rushing 37.8 947 189.4 9 4

Lets take a look at our defense. By these numbers, I would say that our strength of pass defense matches up against the CMU strength of pass offense. It's just going to be about who can execute the most consistently. UB has proven to be able to create turnovers which will indirectly benefit on the scoreboard. Boise Ross and Marcus Baker have exceeded my expectations at the CB position so far. I'm more confident in our secondary than our front seven, which seems to be a good match-up for us in this case. I also don't think that the UB defense is getting enough credit for holding Bowling Green to 28 points.

You can thank the Nevada game for making the Bulls look like they are god-awful at run-defense. Although I do concede that it is not a strength of ours. I doubt the Bulls get run over in such a fashion again this season, and with CMU only averaging 93 rushing yards a game, there shouldn't be too much to worry about.

CMU mainly splits their carries between two backs, Jahray Hayes and Devon Spalding, they each get around 10 carries a game. They are averaging 4.0 and 3.5 yards per carry, respectively. In comparison, Anthone Taylor and Jordan Johnson are both at 4.9 yards per carry. That's a significant difference. God I hope that we run the dang ball more this game...

Central Michigan Rank
Time of Possession 19
Comp % 19
Red Zone OFF 20
Passing OFF 21
Passing Yards Allowed 22
3rd Down Conv % 30
Total Defense 38
3rd Down Defense 49

Buffalo Rank
Defensive TDs 1
Fumbles Lost 2
TFL Allowed 15
Time of Possession 20
Turnovers Lost 23
Red Zone OFF 29
Comp % 38
Turnover Margin 44
Scoring DEF 44
Passing OFF 44