Hey, a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do.
I’m outsourcing the details on Buffalo to Paul Myerberg, who ranks the Bulls at #110. In a nutshell, Georgia’s first 2012 opponent is a MAC squad coming off a 3-9 season (one of those nine losses being a 31-point blowout to Tennessee).
Buffalo does have some experience and a talented running back in Branden Oliver. As the passing attack sounds less than impressive, expect the Bulls to rely heavily on Oliver. It’ll be up to Jenkins and Geathers to control the line of scrimmage so that Buffalo’s running game never gets untracked.
Oliver is not the only Bulls player of note. They’ve also got a very good linebacker:
… Any discussion of Buffalo’s defense must devote extensive space to junior outside linebacker Khalil Mack, a reigning first-team all-MAC pick and, as he heads into his third season, a borderline all-American candidate.
Mack is, in short, a menace. He has 35.0 tackles for loss over his first two years, 20.5 a season ago, not to mention another litany of impressive defensive statistics: 21 quarterback hurries, 7 forced fumbles and 12 pass breakups, for starters. The word gets tossed around — in this space as well — but Mack is a true game-changer, a rush end who can sack the quarterback, run in space and make the one play that can turn a game around. He’s a special player.
That’s impressive. It would be even more so if Mack were suiting up this Saturday. Unfortunately for Buffalo, he’s not, due to a one-game suspension for the dreaded “violation of team rules”. You have to think that’s probably not going to help the Bulls’ chances.
The most interesting note I found in the Myerberg piece is that Buffalo runs some version of the 3-4 on defense. I assume that means Georgia’s offense will find some familiar looks from preseason practice when it lines up against the Bulls.
On paper, this obviously shouldn’t be a close game (the spread at the Fabris Invitational is 37.5). The question would seem to be how seriously the Dawgs approach it.