Miami-Ohio (4-4) at Buffalo (2-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 30th, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UB Stadium (29,013) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: ESPN GamePlan. Home Record: Miami-OH 3-1, Buffalo 1-2. Away Record: Miami-OH 1-3, Buffalo 1-3. Neutral Record: Miami-OH 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-OH 3-1, Buffalo 1-2. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 10-2.
GAME NOTES: Mid-American Conference action will take place this Saturday afternoon when the Buffalo Bulls host the Miami-Ohio RedHawks at UB Stadium.
The RedHawks have dominated Buffalo in the all-time series, winning 10 of the 12 meetings. However, one of the two wins for the Bulls came this past season, as they defeated Miami-Ohio, 42-17.
Coach Mike Haywood's team has been unable to string together victories this season, and heads into this weekend with a mediocre 4-4 ledger. The last time Miami-Ohio was on the field the team suffered its first home loss on the year, falling to Ohio, 27-20. More importantly, the setback to the Bobcats left the RedHawks with a 3-1 mark in league play.
Jeff Quinn's first year at Buffalo has not gone according to plan, as his Bulls have stumbled to a 2-5 record. Buffalo has dropped its last two matchups, including an embarrassing, 42-0 loss to Temple at home this past weekend. With the loss to the Owls the Bulls fell to 1-2 in MAC action.
The RedHawks inability to put together a winning streak has plenty to do with the team's struggles offensively, as Miami-Ohio is currently averaging a lackluster 19.2 ppg.
On the season the RedHawks have relied heavily on their passing attack, but that is mainly because the ground game has been non-existent, averaging just 62.4 ypg.
However, when looking deeper into the passing attack it is evident that quarterback Zac Dysert's inconsistency has been a problem. The young gunslinger heads into this weekend with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Dysert had one of his worst performances of the season in the loss to Ohio. Sure, Dysert did toss two touchdowns and finished with 332 yards, but was also intercepted four times and sacked on five different occasions.
Nick Harwell led the way with 219 yards on 11 receptions, while Armand Robinson collected one of the two touchdown passes. On the year Robinson has been the top option for Miami-Ohio and is currently leading the team with 57 receptions, 614 yards and four touchdowns.
Just like the offensive unit the defense for coach Haywood has been unable to put forth a consistent effort each week. Through their eight games on the year the RedHawks have struggled to contain the run, as teams are gashing Miami- Ohio for 151.5 ypg and out of the 30 touchdowns allowed by this defense, 20 have come via the run.
Miami's inability to stop the run was evident in the loss to Ohio, as the Bobcats dismantled the RedHawks for 222 yards and five rushing touchdowns. On top of their struggles against the run, coach Haywood's defense did not force many big plays, finishing the game with just two takeaways and one sack. On the year the RedHawks have forced 19 turnovers, but pressuring the quarterback has been a different story for the RedHawks, who have racked up just 11 sacks.
The Bulls have taken steps backwards offensively throughout the season ad the team hit a low this past weekend, as Temple's defense held Buffalo scoreless in a 42-0 rout. Buffalo totaled just 161 yards in the setback, and that includes an embarrassing 63 rushing yards on 1.9 yards per attempt.
Finding success on the ground has been tough for the Bulls throughout the campaign, as the team is rushing for just 131.9 ypg. In seven games the team is averaging just 3.3 yards per game and has scored only one touchdown on the ground.
Unfortunately for coach Quinn the passing attack has not been much better. Jerry Davis has been highly inconsistent, completing less than 50 percent of his passes, while throwing 12 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. In the loss to Temple, Davis missed all five of his passes and was pulled for Alex Zordich, but he was not much better. The young signal caller threw for only 98 years in a reserve role and finished with three interceptions and five sacks.
Combined with the lackluster effort offensively, the defense for Buffalo has been just as bad, and is currently surrendering 30.9 ppg. The main issue for this unit has been stopping the run, as opponents are churning out 159.3 ypg against Buffalo and have also found the end zone 14 times via the run.
Buffalo's inability to stop the run was evident in the loss to Temple, as the Owls pulverized the Bulls for 266 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, the secondary also had its problems. Buffalo held Temple to just 131 yards through the air, but also surrendered three passing touchdowns.
Coach Quinn's team has been unable to do anything right lately, but that all might change this weekend. Buffalo's defense should find success against Miami-Ohio, which has struggled on the ground. If the Bulls can get it together offensively, look for them to earn a narrow victory at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 24, Miami-Ohio 20
10/27 10:40:26 ET