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Opponent Stat Preview: Nevada

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State University of New York at Buffalo Bulls (2-1) vs. Nevada Wolfpack (1-2)

This is the last non-conference game for the Bulls as Nevada travels to UB Stadium this upcoming weekend. Nevada is coming of off two straight losses to ranked opponents, Arizona and Texas A&M. Their only win on the year comes against UC Davis, a 14 point margin of victory. This week especially, I am taking Nevada's stats up to this point with a grain of salt, simply because their three opponents so far are either considerably better or considerably worse than the average Mountain West team.

Passing COMP ATT ATT/G COMP% YDS
Nevada 47 86 28.7 54.7% 528
Nevada Opps 77 117 39 65.8% 809
Bulls 56 84 28 66.7% 565
YDS/G TD INT
Nevada 176 5 2
Nevada Opps 269.7 7 1
Bulls 188.3 4 2

Some similarities between teams here in the passing game. Through three games there have been nearly identical attempts per game, however, Nevada's opponents are attempting 11 more passes each game, while also maintaining a completion percentage over 65%. The Bulls have already managed the completion percentage, is throwing the ball more a key to victory against Nevada?

Rushing ATT ATT/G YDS AVG
Nevada 126 42 553 4.4
Nevada Opps 110 36.7 623 5.7
Bulls 121 40.3 466 3.9
YDS/G TD FUMBLE LOST
Nevada 184.3 4 0
Nevada Opps 207.7 6 2
Bulls 155.3 5 0

Nevada's rushing attack is strong, and will challenge the Buffalo defense. They have a mainly two-back system similar to UB. Don Jackson, a 5-10, 210 senior gets the majority of the carries and is averaging 89.3 yards a game with three total touchdowns. James Butler, a 5-9, 200 sophomore is the secondary back and is averaging 68.3 yards each game. Look for a very similar system with backs changing in and out in order to keep legs fresh and keep the defense guessing. Only positive here is that UB can and will do the same thing with Anthone Taylor and Jordan Johnson, with Taylor averaging 104.3 yards a game while Johnson is at 52.7 yards.

The Nevada QB, Tyler Stewart also has the ability to move out of the pocket, so UB will need to do a good job containing him. He averages 24.7 rushing yards a game, with his longest run coming in at 33 yards. The Nevada run game will challenge the UB defense who is giving up 148.7 rush yards a game. They have forced 4 lost fumbles up to this point, while Nevada has not conceded any. I expect that number to change after Saturday.

3rd Down Eff Success Attempts Efficiency
Nevada 16 44 36.4%
Nevada Opp 15 43 34.9%
Bulls 13 46 28.3%
Bulls Opp 20 47 42.6%

Well, I don't really like what I see here.

Nevada hasn't been great at converting 3rd downs, but they have been slightly better at preventing other's chances. This is in part to them returning 5 out of their front 7. They return a lot of experience on defense and this will prove to be a challenge to a so far struggling Bulls offense, who is only converting 28.3% of the time on 3rd down. I attribute the Bulls inefficiency to three simple factors:

1) Not getting enough yards on 1st down. The Bulls are averaging 3.2 yards on first down. 2 and 7 isn't exactly where you want to be.

2) Unimaginative play-calling. If you re-watch the FAU game, a huge takeaway is stagnant play-calling, putting them in predictable passing downs.

3) It could be dumbed down to the offense just not hitting their stride. Their conversion percentage won't always be this low, but I'm not sure that it changes much this game

Now, some highlights from overall NCAA stats for each team:

Nevada:

T-31st in Red Zone Efficiency. 7 Touchdowns, 4 Field Goals, 12 Attempts = 91.7% success rate

T-11th in Turnovers Lost. 0 Fumbles, 2 Interceptions.

Buffalo:

T-32nd in Completion Percentage: 66.7%

T-1st in Defensive TDs: 2 Fumble Return, 1 INT. All against FAU.

T-4th in Fumbles recovered with 5.

1st in Punt Returns: 3 Attempts, 1 TD, 36.33 average. Thank you JMart and fair catches.

T-45th in Red Zone Defense: Opponent success rate of 77.8%

T-34th in Red Zone Offense: Success rate of 90.9%

T-37th in Scoring Defense: Allowing 18.7 points per game

T-31st in TFL Allowed: 4.33 a game.

24th in Team Passing Efficiency Defense

T-49th in Team Sacks: Average of 2 a game.

39th in Time of Possession: 32 minutes a game.

T-4th in Turnover Margin: +6

*Attribute the lack of Nevada's presence in top 50 stats due to their opponents so far.