Buffalo at Ohio prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Bulls and Bobcats.
Buffalo at Ohio Game Preview
When: Thursday, November 3 – 6:00 p.m. ET
Where: Peden Stadium, Athens, OH
Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
The Bulls and the Bobcats are coming off impressive wins last Thursday, the latter seizing control of the MAC’s East Division. Ohio delivered one of the stunners of the season in the conference so far, going on the road to snap then-one-loss Toledo’s three-game winning streak. At the same time, 2-6 Buffalo staved off bowl elimination by shocking Akron for just its second win of the year. The upset propelled the Bobcats into sole possession of first place in the division after entering Week 9 deadlocked in the standings with the Zips.
What To Know About Buffalo
What just happened here? The Bulls had performed downright miserably through the first seven games of the season, unable to score consistently or stop the other guy’s backs. And then they played spoiler against the Zips, getting a school-record 282 yards and two scores on the ground from running back Jordan Johnson. Even the defense stepped up at UB Stadium, particularly a secondary that’s been overachieving all season long. Led by corners Boise Ross and Cameron Lewis, Buffalo ranks among the nation’s leaders in pass defense, allowing just 158 yards a game.
What to Know About Ohio
This is a quintessential Frank Solich team—overachieving, rugged on defense and built on offense around the ground game. The Bobcats are stout and experienced in the front seven, led by defensive end Tarell Basham, who has 7.5 sacks, and run-stuffing linebackers Blair Brown, Chad Moore and Quentin Poling. While redshirt freshman Quinton Maxwell took over at quarterback in mid-October, the offense goes through running back Dorian Brown. The junior from Pittsburgh has turned into a big-play option in Athens, averaging 8.3 yards per carry over the last three games.
Offense: Ohio. Neither attack is explosive by any means, but the Bulls are a bad offense coming off a very good game.
Defense: Ohio. Yeah, the Bobcats can be vulnerable through the air, but it’s unlikely Bull true freshman quarterback Tyree Jackson will be able to take full advantage of the soft areas.
Special Teams: Ohio. Placekicker Louie Zervos is an important weapon for the Bobcat offense, hitting 17-of-21 field goal attempts.
Coaching: Ohio. Solich found a home in Athens years ago, and he continues to have a positive influence on the Bobcat program.
Intangibles: Ohio. Now that the Bobcats have sole possession of first place in the MAC East, they can see a finish line that includes a spot in the league title game.
Matchup To Watch
Johnson vs. the Ohio front seven
Johnson singlehandedly carried the Bulls to a win over Akron last week. He’ll need to be every bit as prolific this week, no small chore against Brown, Moore, Poling and the rest of an Ohio defense giving up a league-low 3.3 yards per carry this season.
Buffalo at Ohio Betting Odds
Spread: Ohio -19.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Buffalo at Ohio Prediction
Great effort last Thursday, Bulls. But it’s back to reality this week versus a far superior Ohio squad. The Bobcats have the defensive personnel to stuff the one-dimensional Buffalo attack that relies so heavily on Johnson’s legs. And if Johnson is corralled, the pressure on Jackson to deliver will be immense. Meanwhile, Brown will remain hot as the focal point of the Bobcat offense, rushing for 150 yards and two scores to take the heat off his own rookie backfield mate, Maxwell.
Buffalo at Ohio Score Prediction: Ohio 34, Buffalo 13