Buffalo Bulls (0-1) at Nevada Wolf Pack (1-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 17, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Nevada Wolf Pack -10.5 -- Over/Under: 52.5
The Buffalo Bulls will travel to Mackay Stadium to take on the Nevada Wolfpack this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Buffalo Bulls had a nightmare start to their season as they opened their year with a 22-16 loss to the FCS Albany Great Danes on September 2nd. Buffalo knew they were going to have trouble replacing QB Joe Licata and RB Anthone Taylor however, they probably didn’t think they would have any trouble with an Albany team they beat 51-14 in 2015. Buffalo outgained Albany by a 403-238 but was hurt by turnovers as they lost the turnover battle by a 4-0 margin. Leading the way for the Bulls was RB Jordan Johnson who had 114 yards on 23 carries. Redshirt QB Tyree Jackson finished the game completing 14 of 25 passes for 125 yards, 1 TD, and INT to go along with 60 rushing yards on 10 attempts. Jackson played well in relief of starting QB Grant Rohach who completed just 3 of 9passes for 52 yards and 2 INT. TE Mason Schreck (5 rec, 58 yards, 1 TD), WR Kamathi Holsey (4 rec, 42 yards), and WR Marcus McGill (3 rec, 32 yards) lead the way for the Bulls receivers. Defensively, Buffalo is an experienced squad that finished the season ranked 72nd in scoring defense (27.6 ppg) and 81st in total yards per game (413.4 yds/game). Buffalo has one of the most experienced defense lines in the MAC and is led by All-MAC linebacker Brandon Barry and LB Ishmael Hargrove.
The Nevada Wolfpack fell to 1-1 (0-0 MW) on the season after being defeated by the 18th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 39-10, this past Saturday. Nevada did a great job containing the Fighting Irish offense early as they were tied, 0-0, after the 1st quarter, however, allowed Notre Dame to score 25 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and fell behind by a 39-3 margin after the 3rd quarter. Nevada was outgained by Notre Dame by a 444-300 margin and only gained 99 yards on the ground. Leading the way for the Wolfpack was WR James Butler who had 4 receptions for 48 yards. On the season, Nevada is averaging 20.0 ppg on 331.5 yards per game (195.0 passing, 136.5 rushing). QB Tyler Sward had 2 TD & 1 INT on the season while completing 58.7% of passes and averaging 151.0 yds/game. James Butler leads the Wolfpack out of the backfield as he has TD’s and is averaging 86.5 yds/game on 19.0 att/game. WR’s Andrew Celis (3 rec, 115 yards), Wyatt Demps (5 rec, 67 yards, TD) and Jerico Richardson (5 rec, 51 yards, TD) have been the leading receivers for Nevada. Defensively, Nevada is allowing their opponents to average 33.0 ppg on 444.5 total yards per game (133.5 passing, 311.0 rushing). Nevada currently has a turnover margin of plus 1 and is led defensively by LB Alex Bertrando who had 18 tackles on the season.
The Bulls are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in September and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Wolfpack are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Buffalo has had plenty of time to reflect on their disappointing loss to Albany and put together a solid game plan against a Nevada team that also almost loss to a FCS team in their season opener. Buffalo has to be encouraged by their play from their young QB Tyree Jackson and should continue to get better running the football behind an experienced offensive line. Nevada had an outstanding RB in James Butler however, the defense has had to rebuild their entire front-seven which have struggled over their first two games. It’s tough to back a team that lost to an FCS team at home in their opener, however, I do think Nevada is overrated and that Buffalo will be able to do enough get enough offense from the rushing game to keep this one within the number. Take Buffalo and the points.