Buffalo Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Buffalo Bulls


The story for the Buffalo Bulls this season almost writes itself. They started off with a brutal, out-of-conference schedule. They faced Ohio State week one and Baylor week two, both on the road. They lost the two games by a combined score of 110-33. In game three, it took five overtimes for the Bulls to finish off Stony Brook. From there, the season started getting better. (Where else could it go?) The Stony Brook W was the first of seven straight wins. By the time their final regular season game came, Buffalo had a chance to win the MAC East division and face Northern Illinois for the conference championship. Instead, they lost to Bowling Green and were left with a solid, if unsatisfying season.

2013 Record: 8-4, 6-2
Coach: Jeff Quinn
Coach Bowl Record: 1-1

Big Wins: 10/26 at Kent State (41-21), 11/5 Ohio (30-3)
Bad Losses: 11/12 at Toledo (41-51), 11/29 Bowling Green (7-24)

Linebacker Khalil Mack is the best player on the Buffalo football team. He has a chance to be a first round NFL draft selection in the 2014 draft. His senior season was remarkable. He led the Bulls in tackles, sacks and interceptions. He also recovered two fumbles and made dozens of plays in opposing backfields. His 10.5 sacks this season were tops in the conference and put Mack among the best pass rushers in the country. But he wasn't the only star on this team. Senior running back Brandon Oliver also qualifies. Oliver finished the year with over 1400 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry for the entirety of the season. Other than those two men, the rest of the Bulls' success was a team effort. Buffalo finished near the top of the country in turnover margin and possessed a solid defense, especially for being in the high-scoring Mid-American Conference. It was quite a turnaround for Buffalo and head coach Jeff Quinn. The eight wins this season were almost as many as Quinn had gotten (9) in the previous three seasons combined.

While there were certainly a lot of positives to come out of this Buffalo season, there were also a number of things that could have been improved upon and which will need to be worked out prior to their upcoming bowl game. Buffalo was weak on offense in general. While the likes of Northern Illinois and Ball State put up 40+ points per game, the Bulls barely topped 30. They also received an unspectacular season from quarterback Joe Licata. Licata is only a sophomore so he has time to develop, but his 2628 yards and completion percentage of 59.1 were simply not good enough. Although he often limited his mistakes, he only had two games all year where he completed at least 65 percent of his passes. Other than that, the Bulls hurt themselves in the punting game and with penalties, where they accumulated 62 penalty yards per game. If they had managed to pull out the Toledo game back in mid-November, it would have been a slightly different story for this team, giving them a chance for 10 wins and a tie atop the East division. But that was the story; they had a good year that just fell short of that next step.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Branden Oliver, RB, 1,421 yards
Passing: Joe Licata, QB, 2,628
Receiving: Alex Neutz, WR, 947 yards
Tackles: Khalil Mack, LB, 94
Sacks: Khalil Mack, LB, 12.0
Interceptions: Khalil Mack, LB, 3; Najja Johnson, CB, 3; Cortney Lester, CB, 3

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 171.9 (65th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 229.9 (67, 4)
Total Offense: 401.8 (71, 5)
Scoring Offense: 30.8 (56, 5)
Rushing Defense: 159.8 (58, 3)
Pass Defense: 216.6 (38, 6)
Total Defense: 376.3 (43, 2)
Scoring Defense: 22.3 (29, 2)
Turnover Margin: 1.3 (5, 1)
Sacks: 3.00 (8, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.33 (27, 5)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2008    International Bowl    Connecticut (20-38)

*all team stats through 11/30


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