I had a chance to have a conversation with Daniel Connolly of Mountain West Connection about the upcoming match up between the Buffalo Bulls and the Nevada Wolf Pack. Here's a little insight from the perspective of a Nevada fan:
Kevin McCormick (Bull Run): After opening against an FCS team and then playing a ranked team, how focused do you think the team will be after such a big game last week?
Daniel Connolly (MWC): I'm not sure focus will be an issue, but it's more if the team can bounce back after such a beatdown. To be fair, they held it close for a little bit with some inventive playcalling, but it obviously didn't sustain. It almost feels like they're 0-2 instead of 1-1, so they'll be ready to play.
KM: Is the Nevada defense more suited to face a dual threat QB like Tyree Jackson or a pocket passer like Grant Rohach?
DC: They're definitely in better shape to handle a pocket passer. The defense isn't great, but the secondary is stronger than the front seven, which was decimated by graduation. Adding the extra element of the quarterback scrambling and they could have some trouble across the board.
KM: What position group is one that Buffalo fans should be worried to face in this game? Which position group are the Nevada fans worried about facing?
DC: Not sure if it's a position group, but James Butler is definitely the brightest spot on this team and it's not even close. The quarterback situation is a total mess, which affects the receivers, and the defense isn't looking too hot. James Butler is a really good runner that can slip out of tackles and is very dangerous once he hits the second level.
Nevada fans are probably looking at Buffalo's front seven. If James Butler can't move the ball very much, the offense essentially is dead in the water.
KM: At 1-1 do you see this team making a bowl game?
DC: They haven't really shown much, but probably. I think there's at least five games they can win, but the question is if they will. It's tough to figure out how good they are, as the struggles against FCS Cal Poly can be chalked up to their triple-option offense, and they never had a shot against Notre Dame. This game will be a really good measuring stick and if they struggle or even lose, I'm not sure they can get those five wins.
DC: What is your realistic outcome of this game?
KM: Despite their struggles, I still think they pull off the win. As I said above, it's still tough to figure this team out and even though I wasn't as high on the Pack this year as some fans were, I don't think the team is as bad as they've played. Buffalo's struggles make me believe Nevada can pull off the win at home, 24-21.