Friday, October 03, 2014

25 Questions that are Bull

What is their body of work?

UB has really only played a couple games that I would consider good tests.  I think you throw Baylor and the TWO FCS games, leaving you with a bad loss to Army and a close win over a Miami team that is probably better but still on a long road.  They lost a couple of really good players last year...

As you look at stats, remember that there are 2 FCS teams in the mix.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

32, which is a huge number.  This is an experienced team...based solely on this, you'd expect them to be better than they are.

Who are their returning statistical leaders?

Cortney Lester is #10 in FBS in passes defended.
Joe Licata is #5 in passing TDs, #10 in passing yards and #6 in points responsible for.
Anthone Taylor is #10 in rushing yards.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -1 so far this year.


How is their QB play?

Licata is good...2nd in the MAC in passing efficiency...66% completions at 12 yards per reception is a very sweet spot...14/4 ratio.  He is good and given that 3 of BG's opponents have set school scoring records this year, I suspect he will be the first guy off the bus tomorrow.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They score 33.8 PPG, which is 5th (I know right) in the MAC. They are gaining 6.1 yards per play, which is strong.

Can they run the ball?

Yes, they seem to be continuing their tradition of having good tailbacks.  Anthone Taylor is the guy this year...averaging 116 yards per game, which is a little misleading because he gets the ball a lot....4.7 yards per carry.  If you want a key to the game, this is where you start.  BG was strong against WKU and UMass on the run, and it would make a big difference if they could take care of them.

Do they pass the ball?

They do.  In addition to Licata, they have three and maybe four strong receivers.  This team can throw the ball.

How is their run/pass balance?

This year, they have run the ball 51% of the time, which is actually a pretty strong run focus.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They do, 47%, 3d in MAC.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are deadly in the red zone.  5 trips per game and 5.6 points per trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They have given up 7 sacks so far, which is less than 4% of their passing attempts, which is good, especially given the high per-reception yardage.

Thrilling.  Detested.  Adored.

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are 97th in the country in scoring defense and only allow 6.4 yards per play, both of which indicate a struggling unit.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are pretty good against the run, allowing only 4.2 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

Yes, yes you can.  Their DB is really stretched, they have moved a guy back there.  They are 118th in passing efficiency defense.  As I mentioned in the Bull Run Swap, they allow only 49% completions but 19 yards per completion, a figure that is worst in the nation by four yards.  If Licata is going to be the first one off the bus, Knapke will be the first guy to the stadium.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are actually pretty good, allowing only 36% conversion.

Do they defend in the red zone?

No.  Only 16 trips in 3 games, but 13 TDs on 16 trips and 5.7 points per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

9 sacks in 140 attempts is 6.4%, which is high-normal.

Special Teams:


Net punting is 38 yards, 7th in MAC.

Punt Return?

Marcus Gill has a 27 yard return and that is most of their 41 yards on 5 attempts.  No TD, no blocks.


Patrick Clarke has typically been pretty good, but this year is only 4-7 with 2 misses inside 40. Long of 39 for the year.


It is good. Clarke has 12 touchbacks in 29 attempts and opponents start at 25 on average.  No TDs allowed

Proud Bull
Kickoff Return?

The Bulls start on the 29 on average.  No TDs, long return of 31.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

This one is going to be a shoot-out.  Right now, these teams are very similar.  UB has the better QB, but neither team plays any defense at all.  Being at home is a big advantage.  It is homecoming, let's hope we have a good crowd.

In the East, everything is possible.  It is like playing survivor.  The winner is still in...the loser isn't out, but the road gets a lot harder.  That is especially true for BG, who has to go to Akron and Ohio.

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