Nevada wraps up their non-conference schedule with the Buffalo Bulls. Although they are not the same level as their previous two opponents in Arizona and Texas A&M, they are still going to be a tough matchup for the Wolf Pack.
The Opponent: Buffalo Bulls (2-1)
With such a far distance between the two schools, many Nevada fans may not know much about Buffalo. They play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and their mascot's name is Victor E. Bull. Their two victories come against the FCS Albany Great Danes and FAU. Both wins were pretty comfortable, as they beat Albany 51-14 and FAU 33-15. Their one loss this season came to Penn State, 27-14. Both teams are mid-to-lower level teams, so it should be a competitive game, unlike the past two weeks.
The Location: University at Buffalo Stadium, AKA "The Bullpen"
Although it is one of the smaller stadiums in college football, it has one of the most underrated home-field advantages in the country. Since incumbent quarterback Joe Licata took over, the Bulls at 11-2 at home, with one loss being against Baylor. They average around 22,000 fans per game, but that is dependent on the weather. Since the game will be in late September, weather should not be much of a factor in that it likely won't snow 7 feet during the game (Although it's Buffalo so anything can happen). If anything changes the game, it's the wind. It can be powerful enough to knock a person down, so there's a potential for a very run-heavy game if the wind begins to kick up.
QB Joe Licata - RS Senior
Licata has been starting at quarterback for the Bulls since the end of his redshirt freshman season, and he's broken nearly every Buffalo passing record since. He threw for 2,600 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, with Buffalo only playing 11 games last season because of excessive snow. The Wolf Pack's secondary is the team's biggest weakness right now, so Ian Seau and the defensive line will need to get to Licata fast otherwise he could shred the defense.
RB Anthone Taylor - Senior
Taylor is as much of a threat on the ground as Licata is in the air. He ran for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns, again with a cancelled game. Taylor is the definition of a workhorse back, getting over 30 carries in 5 games last season. Taylor also maintained a 5.0 YPC last season, despite such the high workload.
1 - Nevada and Buffalo have only met once on the football field, with the last meeting being in 2004. Nevada won 38-13.
16 - The number of years that Buffalo has been at the FBS Level.
2001 - Jim Hofher, Nevada's associate head coach and wide receivers coach, was the head coach of Buffalo from 2001-2005. He was the head coach of the Bulls when they last played against Nevada. He also gave Brian Polian his first full-time coaching job, and the coach looked a bit different back then.
2 - The Bulls have been to only 2 bowls in their FBS history. They are 0-2, having lost to UConn in 2008 and San Diego State in 2013.
2,125 - The Wolf Pack travel 2,125 miles to Buffalo to face the Bulls, the 6th furthest distance an FBS team will travel this season in the continental US.
How To Watch:
TV: None, ESPN 3 stream instead.
Radio: Wolf Pack Radio Network (94.5 FM/630 AM)
In my early preview, I took Nevada 21-20 over Buffalo. I'll stick with that, as I believe it will be a close game, and I liked what I saw from the Wolf Pack against a very good Texas A&M team. Either team can take this game, and I think it will be whichever side makes the big plays at the end of the game.