Coming off a tough loss to Notre Dame at South Bend, Nevada is looking to get back on their feet against a team more on their level in the Buffalo Bulls. In order to get a better understanding of the Wolf Pack’s next opponent, I talked with Kevin McCormick of Bull Run.
1. Buffalo took a tough loss against FCS Albany in their season opener, but did not play last week. What were expectations coming into the season, and was that game just an anomaly?
Coming in to the season I saw this team as a 5-7 team possibly a borderline bowl team depending on MAC play. Overall the Albany game seems like an anomaly due to the early bye week. The team seemed to overlook an FCS team with an impending bye week right after. They seemed to approach it as an extended training camp and overall I don't see that being an accurate representation of this team.
2. Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold announced that he would be using two quarterbacks on Saturday. Why the decision to play two, and what does each bring to the table?
The decision to play two surprised all of us at Bull Run but their is some logic to it. Grant Rohach the fifth year transfer from Iowa State did not perform well against Albany. That being said he still is coming from the Big 12 and should be able to provide leadership to a young Buffalo roster. Tyree Jackson the 6'7 245 pound R-freshman is often thought of as the future of the program. He did make some freshman mistakes against Albany including a fumble at the goal line. Overall I think Leipold is hoping to get the leadership skills of Rohach on the field mixed with the experience for the young quarterback.
3. After Nevada went cross-country to Buffalo last year, the Bull are returning the favor this year. Is there any concerns with the team traveling across the country?
Playing in the MAC means that our teams normally don't travel far very often. We're more of a "bus league" so there is some worry with going cross country and playing in an earlier time zone. Hopefully fatigue doesn't set in and instead the energy of playing so far away is brought to the table. My concern would only be with the time zone difference. A 7PM start time is 9PM here so hopefully their bodies adjust.
4. What's the biggest strength of this team?
The biggest strength of this team is the defense. Last year against FAU they put up 3 TDs by themselves and many players return. Even with the loss to Albany the defense only had one bad drive. They also were missing star CB Boise Ross due to suspension. This defense is explosive and has the potential to be great.
5. Triple Prediction: Best case scenario, worst case scenario and actual prediction.
Best Case: UB Wins by multiple TD's and doesn't let Nevada compete. Worst Case: UB is shutout and neither QB shows us anything to be excited about. Actual prediction: I have Nevada winning a close 24-17 game. I think this game will be a fun game but if Buffalo can't control the Nevada run game then UB will lose by a score or two.