Editors Note: Everyone say hi to our new contributor Kevin!
While not the first person to give their predictions for the upcoming football season, this post is special to me in that it's my introduction to the Bull Run team and first official post.
For the upcoming season, the biggest question mark remains in who will replace four year starter Joe Licata at quarterback. With just 22 days until Buffalo kicks off against Albany, it is still a toss-up between Grant Rohach, the fifth year ISU transfer, and red-shirt freshman Tyree Jackson. While Jackson's 6-7 frame cannot be ignored, I believe that Rohach gets the start to open the season as Lance Leipold chooses experience over size. However I don't think this means Rohach will be under center every game if the team struggles. If they do struggle Jackson is a young asset that may be used mid-season.
With Rohach at the helm to open the season, this Bulls offense should be energized and ready to prove themselves after a disappointing 2015 season. The offense should be a more balanced attack with Jordan Johnson being the primary ball carrier this year. I also expect big things from senior wide out Marcus McGill as he looks to build on a strong 2015. Tight ends should still remain a big part of the offense as a young and inexperienced offensive line may not provide the proper protection to make this Bull's offense a constant deep ball threat. Mason Schrek, with his large frame, should be a vital part of an offense that should put up bigger numbers under a hungry quarterback looking to prove himself to the Buffalo community.
As for the defense, I'm excited to see it reach full potential. Even with losing 2015 starters like Okezie Alozie and Nick Gilbo, I feel like this year's defense is primed to be better. In 2015, the team constantly faced the challenge of short breaks as the offense would sputter and put up numerous three-and-outs. I feel as if this year's offense is a better compliment to its defense. This year's defense will be lead by star corner Boise Ross and should prove to be the Bulls' best asset. Ross is the type of player that can limit their opponents number one wide out which is never a bad thing. Finally, the defensive line is in good strength, especially with the addition of Nebraska transfer Joe Keels. Overall, this defense should have a strong 2016 campaign and may even win a few games for the Bulls.
Now for my game by game predictions:
Buffalo 48 - Albany 7
Nevada 28 - Buffalo 9
Buffalo 17 - Army 24
Boston College 17 - Buffalo 10
Buffalo 24 - Kent State 10
Buffalo 21 - Ball State 17
Northern Illinois 42 - Buffalo 14
Buffalo 7 - Akron 24
Ohio 24 - Buffalo 10
Buffalo 38 - Miami 10
Western Michigan 24 - Buffalo 17
Bowling Green 21 - Buffalo 24
This puts the Bulls finishing 5-7 with an upset against Bowling Green to cap off the season. I do believe that after a tough 3 game stretch in the MAC, Leipold will make a quarterback change and let Tyree Jackson show what he can do against a weaker Miami team. After a strong performance I believe that Leipold will stick out the season with Jackson to let him get some time on the field in a more low-pressure feeling. Overall, this team will show improvement and build towards a much stronger future.