As you've been hearing all week on this site, today is the start of the 2016 football season. Opening up the season against an FCS opponent is a strategy with a fair amount of upside but also the potential for catastrophe. For this season, the biggest strength to playing Albany to open the season is that the QB competition between Grant Rohach and Tyree Jackson has a chance to gain real insight. Coach Leipold and the rest of the Bulls' staff will be given real game tape for both players. With that all being said, Bull Run reader's have probably heard enough about this situation this week, so here's our final rundown for the Albany Great Danes.
Players To Watch
Neven Sussman - This sophomore quarterback was in a position battle of his own this summer. It'll be key for the Bulls to shut down all parts of the Albany offense early and often to ensure that this game doesn't stay close.
Rayshan Clark - Clark is a senior CB for the Great Danes who was talking about this week being a sort of "Revenge" game from last year. He and the rest of the Albany team is hungry to avenge their 51-14 loss in 2015. It'll be interesting to see if his play backs up his words.
Julian Cox - A sophomore LB who also talked on TWC News about how bad the Great Danes want this game. Similarly to Clark, it'll be fun to see what kind of energy Cox comes out with in this game. After the defense was dismantled last year it'll be interesting to see how they respond in 2016.
Albany seems to be a team that focuses primarily on their defense. However, Buffalo has the advantage in pretty much every physical category, most notably offensive line vs defensive line size. With big man Tyree Jackson taking some reps on offense, this Albany team just doesn't have the physical size it takes to match up with Buffalo. As long as UB can play fundamentally sound and not take the Great Danes too lightly, they will send them down the road with their tails between their legs.
I'm giving the Bulls a 99.9999% chance to win this game. Let's be real, Albany isn't going to win. Even if they scare the Bulls early they don't have the ability to put it together for 60 minutes. This game is less about winning and more working out the kinks of the offense and hopefully settling the quarterback debate. So, apologies to any Albany fans, but prepare to be 0-2 against the FBS.