The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off sort of an unfortunate 2012 season. I say this because they finished 12-0 and it happened to be in the season that they were banned from a bowl game. Urban Meyer has turned this squad back into a Big Ten powerhouse and it’s just a matter of time before they win the national championship.
On the other side of the field, the Buffalo Bulls are one of those teams that could end up surprising some people. Coming off a 4-8 season in Jeff Quinn‘s third season. They are returning 16 total starters and will likely finish with their highest win total since 2008 when they finished with eight.
Ohio State had one of the worst passing offenses in college football last season although it has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Braxton Miller has the potential to be a Heisman-winner and although he only had just over 2,000 yards passing last season, he was the team’s leading rusher and finished with nearly 1,300 yards on the ground. Carlos Hyde got in a bit of trouble this offseason, but he will be a force when he hits the field.
Buffalo has a lesser offense than the Buckeyes, but by returning nine starters, they will likely be much-improved. The Bulls averaged just 376 yards and 21.3 points per game last season largely due to their lack of clear No. 1 quarterback. Sophomore Joe Licata will look to take the reigns this season under center and with the help of 800-yard rusher Branden Oliver, they should be okay.
Buffalo’s defense returns seven starters from an average squad last season, including four of its top five tacklers. The Bulls will be a much-improved unit while the Buckeyes could see a bit of a drop-off. Returning just four starters on defense will be a bit of a problem for the Buckeyes, but by returning linebacker Ryan Shazier who recorded 115 tackles last season, they have a proven leader.
Buffalo will be traveling to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Aug. 31. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Buffalo 7, Ohio State 52