It's my turn in the Bull Run Editors' round robin of 2016 Football predictions, and I'm gonna take it a bit differently. For one, I'm not calling it "way too early." It's the end of July, and barring a Starks-like injury we know enough that our feelings now are going to be pretty well-informed. For two, I'm going to be a bit briefer than Dave and Robby before me.
A few general predictions before the game-by-game:
Tyree Jackson is already a solid MAC QB, but Grant Rohach will start every game this season. At the end of the day, I think it's a coin flip between the two, Rohach didn't come here not to play, and there's no way Jackson doesn't still have room to improve and learn from the more mature senior. I also think Rohach is a fine quarterback who will be remembered quite differently than UB's last fifth-year transfer QB.
Jordan Johnson's backup is a critically important spot in the lineup, and I'm worried. Johnathan Hawkins has oodles of talent, but got only minimal snaps last year and will need to be better than what he showed in those opportunities. No one else on the roster rushed for more than 10 yards on the season despite nine listed running backs on the roster. I'm eager to see what Emmanuel Reed can do, but I can't see him used much between the tackles.
You know about McGill and Schreck, but for my money Malcolm Robinson is in for an improvement. Call it a get feeling.
The defense will be fine, but Boise Ross will be underappreciated and will not be First Team All-MAC. They might not carry games like they did last year, but Brian Borland is still in charge, Brandon "Crunch" Berry is still on the field, and the big plays will keep coming. But Ross simply won't get many opportunities to make plays. We saw teams avoiding him more and more midway through last season, and that will almost certainly continue. Cameron Lewis will need to step up big on the other side.
Ross will be the highest Bull drafted. Schreck and Berry with big seasons should also catch plenty of late-round or UDFA attention.
UB should have done everything possible to avoid a Week 2 bye, and they will suffer for failing. Ignore the teams. This schedule is a disaster for a successful season, and regardless of the final result, UB will be a better team than their record shows. After 17 September, UB's longest break between games will be nine days and the Bulls will close the year with consecutive stretches of three games in 13 days.
Game by Game Predictions
|at Boston College
|at Northern Illinois
|at Western Michigan
|at Bowling Green
Questions or objections? Come chat with me in the comments.