The Buffalo Bulls are having a superb season after losing two straight games to top ranked Ohio State and Baylor to start the year. The Bulls have reeled off seven straight wins in impressive fashion and have an opportunity on Tuesday night to put another notch in their belt against the Toledo Rockets. However, this game will not be an easy task for the Bulls to accomplish as Toledo is 6-3 overall and has only one conference loss on the year. This game will feature a potent offense in the Rockets and one of the league’s best defenses in the Bulls. It should be one of the best games of the season in the conference and is a must-watch game for division title implications.
Buffalo is averaging 30.9 points per game and has worn down opponents with the physicality of their offensive line. The Bulls are averaging 181.4 rushing yards per game and are averaging 203.9 passing yards per game. They are a run first offense that likes to showcase running back Branden Oliver’s ability. The senior running back loves to run between the tackles and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Oliver has rushed for 1,123 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.
The success of the running game opens up the play action passing game for quarterback Joe Licata. Licata makes solid decisions and does not turn the ball over in critical areas of the field. His main target is wide receiver Alex Neutz who leads the team in receptions with 43 for 707 yards and nine touchdowns. The Bulls will look to challenge a Rockets defense that is giving up 26.2 points per game and is allowing 165.7 rushing yards per game.
Toledo’s offense will look to spread out the Bulls and force mismatches in the vertical passing game. Buffalo struggled this season against the spread offense (Baylor) and will face a team in Toledo with multiple weapons at the skill positions.
The Rockets are averaging 33.2 points per game and have the nation’s 15th ranked rushing offense (238.9 yards per game). Running back David Fluellen is one of the most underrated backs in the country. On the year, Fluellen has rushed for 1,067 yards (7.0 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. Toledo is averaging 206.7 passing yards per game and has two big play wide receivers in Alonzo Russell (five touchdowns) and Bernard Reedy (four touchdowns).
The Bulls are giving up 20.7 points per game and are ranked 24th in the nation in scoring defense. Buffalo’s strength of their defense is their ability to shut down the run. The Bulls are yielding 133.2 rushing yards per game and are giving up 230.7 passing yards per game. The Bulls have an aggressive defensive line and can get pressure on the quarterback. For the season, Buffalo has accumulated 28 sacks through nine games.
The Bulls are very opportunistic in creating turnovers with a +15 in turnover margin. Toledo is a +7 in turnover margin on the year.
Prediction: The Bulls will have to run the football to keep the Rockets’ offense off of the field. The Bulls must weather the early storm playing on the road. Buffalo is battle tested and will be able to force turnovers in this contest. Look for Buffalo to pull off the road upset and keep their perfect record intact.
Buffalo 28 Toledo 24