Buffalo Bulls 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
2015 Record 5-7
Buffalo Bulls 2016 Preview
Lance Leipold’s second season at the Buffalo Bulls has the fans anticipating a postseason berth.
Overview: Lance Leipold was a legend at Wisconsin-Whitewater with six DIII titles so the expectations were high that he could turn the Bulls football program around. A 5-7 record in his first year at UB was an improvement and now the fans want to take the next step.
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Offense: The pass happy Buffalo Bulls might not be as pass happy with quarterback Joe Licata taking almost 3,000 yards to graduation which leaves former Iowa State signal caller Grant Robach as the favorite or perhaps red shirt freshman Tyree Jackson getting the job after passing and running for nearly 3,500 yards as a HS senior. With Buffalo losing top receivers Ron Willoughby and Matt Weiser, Marcus McGill (50-581) and Collin Lisa (31-325) are the leading incumbents with three star recruits Jamari Eiland and Jordan Overton possibly breaking in to the lineup. Jordan Johnson will be the Bulls rushing attack after splitting carries with Anthone Taylor but a 4.7 yard average needs to improve. Two starters and seven with starting experience man the Buffalo O-Line along with a couple of JUCO’s so we’ll see how that pans out.
Defense: The Bulls defense was bend but don’t break and were above average in the red zone and were also tough in short yardage but the opposition did get to scoring range and anything can happen when that occurs so the focus in 2016 is to keep opponents out of scoring range. The defensive line is deep and experienced with ten of the top eleven back led by DE Brandon Crawford with 4.5 TFL and a pair of sacks. The Buffalo linebacking crew gets back Brandon Berry who recorded 11.5 TFL and Jarrett Franklin is also back after missing last season with injury so the losses in this unit might not be glaring. Corner Marqus Baker and his 12 passes defensed will be missed but virtually everyone else returns including Boise Ross who broke up 18 passes.
NOTE-condolences go out to the family, friends and the Buffalo football program after DE Solomon Jackson passed away passed a week after collapsing during a work out in late February. The sport we love means nothing in times like these.
Special Teams: The Bulls need a punter and kicker with Tyler Grassman gone but Adam Mitcheson was 10-13 on FG including 3-6 from 40+ yards although he missed five PAT’s which is not acceptable. Jordan Johnson and Collin Lisa will return kicks and punts respectively but Lisa averaged less then four yards per PR.
Outlook: While many expect Buffalo to take the next step we have to realize that the offense lost several valuable pieces. The fans should not be surprised (or angry) with another 5-7 campaign or possibly 6-6.
9/17 @ Nevada
10/1 @ Boston College
10/8 Kent State
10/15 Ball State
10/22 @ Northern Illinois
11/3 @ Ohio
11/12 Miami (OH)
11/19 @ Western Michigan
11/25 @ Bowling Green