2011 College Football Preview: Buffalo Bulls

Publish date:

2010 Record: (2-10, 1-7 in MAC)

Head Coach: Jeff Quinn (2-10 at Buffalo, 3-11 All-Time)

Last Bowl Game: 2009 International Bowl: Lost to UConn 38-20

2010 Pre-Season Preview Link


9/3: at Pittsburgh

9/10: Stony Brook

9/17: at Ball State (2010 result: lost 20-3)

9/24: UConn (2010 result: lost 45-21)

10/1: at Tennessee

10/8: Ohio (2010 result: lost 34-17)

10/15: at Temple (2010 result: lost 42-0)

10/22: Northern Illinois (2010 result: lost 45-14)

10/29: at Miami (Oh) (2010 result: lost 21-9)

11/12: at Eastern Michigan (2010 result: lost 21-17)

11/19: Akron (2010 result: lost 22-14)

11/25: Bowling Green (2010 result: won 28-26)

2010 Offensive Statistics:

Scoring: 14.2 ppg (last in MAC, last in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 113.42 yds/game (9th in MAC, 101st in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 184.3 yds/game (8th in MAC, 88th in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 297.7 yds/game (11th in MAC, 111th in Nation)

2010 Defensive Statistics:

Scoring: 27.8 ppg (8th in MAC, 67th in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 159.08 yds/game (7th in MAC, 67th in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 181.4 yds/game (2nd in MAC, 18th in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 340.5 yds/game (5th in MAC, 33rd in Nation)

2010 Misc Stats:

Turnover Margin: -0.67 per game (11th in MAC, 105th in Nation)

Penalties: 48.8 yds/game (5th in MAC, 47th in Nation)

Returning Starters:

Offense: 8

Defense: 3

Kicker/Punter: 1

Top Returning Statistical Leaders:

Passing: Jerry Davis, Jr (142 of 298 for 1753 yds, 16 TD, 16 INT)

Rushing: Branden Oliver, Soph (102 for 298, 2.9 ypc)

Receiving: Marcus Rivers, Sr (50 rec for 690 yds, 5 TD)

Tackles: Khalil Mack, Soph (68)

Sacks: Mack, Soph; Steven Means, Jr (4.5)

Interceptions: 2 tied with 1

2010 was a year that Buffalo and it's fanbase would like to forget. In 2008, the Bulls went 8-5 in the regular season and went bowling. In 2009, they took a step back and finished 5-7 with 3 conference wins. Last year things came crashing down as the Bulls finished 2-10 and only won 1 conference game. Jeff Quinn's debut in 2010 obviously wasn't the way he wanted to start. Buffalo will try to turn the page this year and we caught up with Tim Riordan of the SB Nation Blog Bull Run to learn more about the 2011 version of the Bulls. Follow them on Twitter @UBBullRun or become a fan of theirs on Facebook.

Last year this Buffalo team finished a disappointing 2-10. What were the biggest issues that need to be addressed in order for them to be successful this year?

When you can't pass and you cant run there is one logical place to look, at the offensive line. Last Season Quinn tried to put a square peg in a round hole when he inherited a team that had been built as a one back system. He tried to jam that into the spread and issue one was the mobility of the offensive line. The result was an undersized line.

After replacing a couple of offensive coaches Buffalo seems to be moving back towards more of a balance. Backs have talked about getting more work this spring and the offensive line is, on average, 20-40 pounds bigger than last season.

After going 5-7 in 2009, the Bulls went 2-10 in Jeff Quinn's debut season. What are the overall thoughts on him after his first season?

I was really disappointed by how stuck on a system he was. By the time the season was half over it was pretty clear Buffalo was not going to be able to pass the ball. Still week after week we saw UB Quarterbacks running for their lives and throwing up ducks.

In other ways Quinn has been an impressive coach. His recruiting is better than we saw in the past, he hit the local media really hard, and has some ideas for building traditions at UB. If his new staff can run the offense, and he let's them, then I think he will be fine.

The offense really struggled last year finishing 120th in the Nation in points scored at only 14.2 points per game. Who are the players that need to step up this year on the offensive side of the ball?

Right now Jerry Davis is tabbed as the starter. He has to be playing with a rather short leash after last season. But the guys who really have to step up play on the line. Ostrowski needs to take the leadership mantle from Peter Bittner and the unit must be far better than last season.

What is the one game on the schedule that you want to win more than any other?

Well the one game I don't want to lose is Stony Brook, other than that I will take any wins we can get.

I suppose the must win games are Temple because I hate them, and BSU/EMU because losing twice in a row would be too painful.

What are the biggest reasons to be optimistic about Buffalo football this year?

A much bigger line this season and way more depth. Last year the line was thin in every sense of the word. Not only were they a bit undersized but at one point during the season injury had whittled UB down to just two reserve linemen and one of those was a converted defensive tackle.

What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?

I see three, maybe four wins on the schedule.UB just has a monster non conference schedule with UConn, Pitt, and Tennessee. In conference we have a decent cross divisional draw as we play EMU and BSU. Five or more would be a success and less than four would be a failure.

Next Preview: Central Michigan


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