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Central Michigan Chippewas vs Buffalo Bulls football recap: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

No one wants to talk about this game, unsurprisingly, but seeing how there's no material for a Vine Recap, and I'm uncertain of John's availability for a more in-depth post tomorrow, we should at least get more than a instant recap up.

Five winnable games this season turned into only two wins, and the wheels completely fell off today. I could reasonably put everything under 'Ugly,' be glib, and let that be the end of it, but I wouldn't want anything to appear let off the hook if it wasn't mentioned.

The Good

Offense in the first quarter. I mentioned this in the instant recap, but through one quarter, despite the defense's struggles, this game didn't look awful. After a three and out, the offense put together nearly two full scoring drives in the first quarter, drawing even at 7 and appearing ready to draw even at 14 before the quarter switch. Using an equal mix of run and pass, UB suffered no negative plays, and was as efficient as we've seen all year.

Mason Schreck can still walk. Thank goodness his inside leg was off the ground, because that hit was big and flashy. Two different people tweeting from the CMU press box called it a "season ender" before Schreck jogged off the field.

Tyler Grassman. Averaged 41.8 yards pet punt, putting two inside the 20.

The Bad

QB depth chart. Joe Licata played through an injury that looked to me like it could have easily been a broken rib or more at a point that it was painfully obvious the team didn't have the heart today to come back. I would have liked to see Tony Daniel out of the half; not out of the Licata discontent we're seeing from some commenters, but to avoid a situation like that injury. When Daniel through a quick interception, I was glad to see Chris Merchant step in.

The Ugly

Offensive and Defensive playcalling. I think this is the best place to start. There's a *lot* of screens early in the passing game, which might be good for setting Joe into a rhythm, but it's been well-established right now that Licata doesn't win games when asked to throw 40 times. Over the final three quarters, at least some of the blame for the ineptitude needs to point towards the sidelines.

On defense, I'm left wondering how long it's going to take until Boise Ross is regularly on the opponent's top receiver, and can only dream of safety help. If that's an impossibility because of how UB runs their system, I'd ask for a change.

The trenches. Cooper Rush had as many incompletions due to drops as he did to actual defense, and that's as much a product of the front seven having their worst game of the season as it is Rush's ability. The O-Line was better, but that doesn't mean much in a 37-point loss.


More penalties, though not as bad as before.

The secondary.

Tackling. Brandon Berry had 11 and Marqus Baker 10, but it's hard to remember any over the much louder memories of Bulls failing to wrap up Central Michigan players on screen and crossing routes.

Outside run defense.

Third down defense.

Kick coverage.

24:50 time of possession.