NIU Huskies vs. Buffalo Bulls Preview

In his second year as head coach of the Buffalo Bulls, head coach Jeff Quinn is having the same problems on offense even after adding Cincinnati refugee Chazz Anderson at quarterback. The Bulls are 95th in the nation and 9th in the MAC in total offense.

Quinn came in as the offensive coordinator from Cincinnati the last three years under Brian Kelly. Quinn fired his offensive coordinator after the first pitiful year. His new OC is Alex Wood who was Miami WR coach LY and Arkansas passing coordinator from 2006-07.

Offense

They can run the ball decently with RB Branden Oliver who has rushed for 741 yds and 8 TDs on the season. The only returning starters that went into this season with experience were their left tackle Matt Ostrowski and C Graham Whinery.

The top receivers are Marcus Rivers with 34 catches for 360 yds and a td while Alex Neutz 30 rec for 396 yds and 2 tds himself. Rivers and Neutz are 6'5" and 6'4" respectively, so it appears they just need somebody to be able to get them the ball. QB Chazz Anderson has 1,308 yds passing with a 5-4 td to int ratio. He's completing 54.4% of his passes and has the 10th best passer rating in the MAC.

Injuries

WR Terrell Jackson is out for the season. And while he's only caught 15 passes for 130 yds on the season he was also the lead returner on both punts and kickoffs. His punt returning was ranked 43rd in the season before he went down. Jackson is a huge loss for an already struggling Buffalo offense.

Defense

The defense side of the ball hasn't been much better in terms of stopping people. They rank 80th overall and are 107th in rushing defense.

The Bulls run a 3-4 defense and the best players play the outside linebacker positions. OLB Khalil Mack has 41 tkls, 12 TFL 3.5 sacks and 10 qbh on the season so far. DE Steven Means has 2.5 sacks of his own.

The ILBs get most of the tackles in this offense, with Fred Branch and Lee Skinner with 40+. CB Najja Johnson has 10 pass breakups on the year.

NIU strategy

Fortunately, it doesn't seem like Buffalo is good at too much anything. It might be tough going on the road, but if the Huskies play to their potential then they really shouldn't have any problem on either side of the ball. Judging how successful the Huskies have been on the ground and how porous the Bulls have been giving up yards that way, expect to see more running from Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch all around.

The defense... just keep doing what you're doing. Don't revert to the bad sort of defense you had during the former part of the season. Buffalo is 2-5 for a reason. Just stop the run and pressure the QB into making mistakes.

Will the Huskies win their first road game this weekend?

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