Well look at that, Football got a much needed win. Not only that, but it was an impressive performance that saw an offensive resurgence in which Buffalo won 41-20 over a likely bowl-bound Akron. For once we can finally throw some stuff in the “good” column.
Have yourself a night, Jordan Johnson-
It seems like just about every week I’ve preached that Jordan Johnson should be the focal point of the offense and it rang clear with this win. The senior running back torched UB’s single game rushing yards record with 282 on the night. The back also had two touchdowns, one being for 61 yards.
Johnson is averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry this season and had he been given the same amount of rushing attempts as some of the best backs in the nation, it’s safe to say he’d be well over 1000 yards by now. I’m not saying that we need 282 yards a night from him, but Johnson needs to be heavily involved in the offense from here on out.
The offensive line-
One of the biggest problems this year was the fact that our offensive line has been decimated in almost every game this season. This time around, everything came together. When your running back is able to put forward the performance he did on mostly inside runs, you know that something right is happening on the OL.
It’s been a tough sophomore season for Mitcheson, but he put together a perfect game this time around. He converted every extra point attempt and knocked down two field goals, helping the Bulls secure 11 points.
The JUCO transfer has stepped up the past two weeks and has made an enormous impact for the Bulls. Despite UB losing to Northern Illinois, he had a solid 8 tackles and an interception. This week versus Akron was another strong showing where he helped secure another three tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup.
Slack is another guy on the defensive side of the ball that stepped up this week. With Boise Ross out due to injury, Slack brought in 5 total tackles and a beautiful sack for a 12 yard loss that ended an Akron drive.
Didn’t think you’d see this name here, huh? Well, you can attribute one of the Akron touchdowns to DeWeen’s punting. With very little time left in the second half, the punter was told to kick the ball out of bounds to ensure a two touchdown lead going into the second half. Instead, the ball didn’t reach the out of bounds marker, but into the hands of an Akron player. Akron promptly took that ball ran it in for another touchdown.
Yeah, he provided a wonderful rushing attack, but his passing attack is really struggling. Jackson only completed 7 of his 21 passing attempts while also giving away an interception.
Oh special teams you continue to struggle. A game where UB had won 41-13 would’ve been even more persuading but special teams still managed to give up a punt return touchdown to the Zips. Unfortunately, until UB chocks up enough money to have a dedicated special teams coach, things like this will continue to be a problem.
The Bottom Line
The season can be salvaged. The Bulls Football team that showed up on Thursday is one that can make it to 5-7, a record that many of us predicted for Buffalo to finish this year. I said at the beginning of the season that I’d be happy with 4-8 because of the 42 newcomers to the program. With at least two more dumpster fires on UB’s schedule, it’s entirely possible that Leipold and crew meet expectations.