The Buffalo Bulls of the MAC stormed Ohio Stadium this afternoon to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first game of the season. The amazingly game Bulls weathered a few early shots, going down 23-0 through OSU’s first three possessions, before fighting back and making a contest of it. Braxton Miller ended the game 15/22 for 178 yards with 2 touchdowns and a pick, while Joe Licata matched him with 19/32 for 187 yards 2 touchdowns and an interception. OSU’s leading Running back was Jordan Hall with a very impressive 19 carries for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Miller added another 16 carries for 71 yards.
Buffalo started the game with the ball and began dinking and dunking their way to a handful of first downs. The short passes, designed to build confidence in the quarterback found success early against the soft coverage OSU was playing on the edge. Surprisingly, the drive ended on a 4th down attempt that suffered a delay of game penalty, forcing the Bulls to punt.
After an incredible shank, the Buckeyes began work with good field position. Jordan Hall got to see the field first at RB, carrying the ball on a few QB zone reads. In what seemed as if the offense said, “Aw, to hell with this”, Braxton took a shot down field on a play-action pass. Devin Smith hauled in the well placed 47 yard toss for a touchdown over a lost and confused defender. Shockingly, the Bucks chose to go for two and Kenny Guiton successfully ran it in.
While the Buffalo Bulls found success against the young defense, it wasn’t enough for much more than a few first downs before they were shut down and forced to punt. Shazier in particular, the only veteren starter in the middle, made a few critical plays to help make up for the youth to either side of him. Ohio State’s young defense continued to slowly grow into their roles as the game progressed. Pressure on the quarterback improved, and the run defense began to bog the RBs down in the backfield. They also tended to stiffen on third down, allowing Buffalo only a single first down in six attempts.
Welcome to another season of Buckeye Football!
We’re looking forward to sharing each game with you this year in our livechats. We’ve ditched Cover it Live this season in favor of another flavor. Hopefully it leads to a better overall experience!
As usual, we’ll start the liveblog 30 minutes before gametime, which kicks at Noon on ESPN2. We look forward to seeing you here at 11:30 Eastern Time.
(The chat is still live and running through Saturday. You’ll find it below the page-break.)
With the new Football Season just days away, it’s time to renew our ol’ traditions. Our new buddy Tim Riordan over at the Bull Run Blog was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about the game this Saturday. Make sure to pay them a visit!
tBBC: Can the Bulls replace Defensive End Steven Means (5th round draft pick by Tampa Bay)? Who on the Bull’s defense is capable of taking offensive attention off Linebacker Khalil Mack?
UBBR: I’m not going to lie and say that Beau Bachtelle is the equal of Steven Means, but a lot of people overlook Colby Way on the other side of the defensive line. He is big, has a great reach, and good instincts. He is a great pass rusher who really knows when and how to get his hands up. Bachtelle does not need to be Means for Khalil Mack to prosper.
More telling on Mack’s success may be how well Adam Redden adjusts from the defensive backfield to the Linebacking Corps. Buffalo needs to know that if they pin Mack’s ears back and set him loose there is someone in the shallow defensive secondary capable of cleaning up.
tBBC: What are your thoughts on the re-branding of the team as a “New York” institution?