UB equipped to stand the protecting MAC champs
UB football (6-1, 3-0) is returned on the road this weekend following their homecoming victory over Akron last Saturday at UB Stadium. The Bulls became bowl eligible for the second one 12 months in a row and just the fourth time in school records with the win.
While that is the primary time the Bulls have clinched bowl eligibility in lower back-to-lower back years, UB changed into considered one of 3 groups in 2017 to now not play in a bowl game despite being eligible. That is why with five video games final inside the 2018 regular season, the Bulls need to make certain there is no doubt on the subject of them being selected to a bowl recreation.
“Six wins didn’t get us something ultimate 12 months,” Bulls head teach Lance Leipold stated on Tuesday. “So there may be no promise it’ll be this season. We must maintain shifting forward. However, to put this season collectively at this time is a brilliant breakthrough, and it’s something we need to complete robust on.”
The Bulls can have considered one of their more difficult matchups of the season this Saturday when they take on the protecting Mid-American Conference champion, Toledo Rockets (three-three, 1-1). However, Toledo’s .500 document and fourth place spot in the MAC West department can be a bit deceiving. They played tough non-convention video games against Miami (FL.) and at Fresno State, and they suffered a tough two-factor loss to Eastern Michigan last week in what changed into a returned-and-forth contest.
One thing Toledo can do well is positioned points up on the board. The Rockets currently have the highest-scoring offense within the MAC, averaging 43. Zero points in keeping with recreation, and in their three wins this season, Toledo has scored sixty-six, sixty-three, and fifty-two points.
“They’re protecting conference champs and had been going to their place,” Leipold stated. “Coach [Jason] Candle is a top-notch train, distinctly reputable nationally, and everyone is aware of what an incredible job that application has completed. So to cross there, it’s all the challenges we want to tackle right now. If we need to be a team that’s cited in conversations to play for a MAC championship, we need to play nicely in places like this.”
Toledo’s head instructs Jason Candle, and Leipold has some earlier history among one another; the two-faced off inside the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship games. Leipold, at the time, become the pinnacle coach of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Candle was the offensive coordinator at Mount Union in Ohio.
Saturday’s contest will be seen because the rubber fit among the two coaches, Leipold’s Warhawks, took the identity in 2007 whilst Candle’s Purple Raiders won the rematch in 2008.
Their closing matchup may also be 10 years ago. However, Candle’s offenses have constantly been sturdy, and Leipold doesn’t assume this Toledo group is distinctive.
“There are manifestly a few comparable formations; however that’s nearly like a beyond lifestyles in some approaches,” Leipold said. “You can tell [Candle] does a first-rate process of providing you with extraordinary appears and having performed that compliment off of the whole thing. Their calming subject is getting higher each week and now not letting one week deliver over to another and that you need to hold going; he knows the way to get his crew prepared.”
One factor the Bulls will see from Toledo’s offense is a cell quarterback in Mitchell Guadagni. The junior from Hudson, Ohio, led the Rockets in rushing yards and had a season-excessive 134 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown last week in opposition to Eastern Michigan. Luckily for the Bulls, they’ve seen their honest share of cell play-callers this season.
“We’ve long gone through that a remaining couple of weeks, facing scrambling and walking quarterbacks,” Leipold explained. “It’s a balance; you have to get pressure together with your front but additionally have guys who could make tackles in an area. You must be assigned and sound in what you’re doing.”
“Assigned and sound” appears to be the motto for the UB protection each week. After a shaky beginning to the season, the Bull’s defense has hit their stride and are actually the best scoring defense in the MAC, making Saturday’s matchup with the convention’s maximum scoring offense in Toledo a fascinating one.
“I think the protection sees the possibility and the undertaking,” Leipold stated. “Last week, we played the East Division champion from final year, and now we’re playing last yr’s West Division and conference champion. So with what this institution desires to try and attain and what their desires are, in case you need to do those things, those are the sort of video games you need to go out and play nicely.”
While the Bull’s defense may be in for a fight on Saturday, the offense has to be able to do some damage against Toledo’s protection. The Rockets are the third lowest inside the MAC in passing protection and scoring protection. However, Toledo’s run defense is greater on par with the Bulls’ rush offense. So, we should see a variety of throws from Tyree Jackson.
Anthony Johnson’s go back to the lineup might truly supply the Bulls’ offense and strength improve as nicely. Last week, Johnson made his return to the lineup remaining recreation after missing some time over the previous few weeks with leg harm. The senior receiver finished with catches for forty-four yards and turned into on the sphere for 39 of the Bulls’ seventy-five offensive plays.
“That was pretty a lot on par for what we wanted,” Leipold said on Johnson’s overall performance in opposition to Akron. “We had a range of [of snaps] in mind that we wanted him to play, and we met that. It’s still a day aspect, it’s going to rely upon how he feels, and he continues to develop. But we want to be smart with him; there are loads of factors that cross in. But it became brilliant to see him make a few vital perform in the sport.”
With K.J. Osborn rising like any other actual hazard at receiver and the freshman walking the returned pair of Kevin Marks and Jaret Patterson stepping as much as solidifying the Bulls run sport over a previous couple of weeks, this offense will be something frightening if Anthony Johnson is back to 100-percent fitness.
It certainly would be the appropriate time for the Bulls’ leading receiver from the final season to make a full return. A win over Toledo might place the Bulls at 7-1 overall and four-0 inside the MAC for the primary time considering that 2013.
“It’s going to be an interesting venture,” Leipold stated. “We don’t spend a whole lot of time early within the season looking at games and how to get to them. We don’t ‘pink-letter’ an opponent or something like that. But, I suppose this is one which human beings checked out and stated, ‘If we will develop off what we did a yr in the past and get higher, this recreation may additionally have top meaning,’ and I think it does.”
Kickoff on Saturday from the Glass Bowl is scheduled for 12 p.M. You can pay attention to the overall recreation alongside pre-game and put up-sport insurance on ESPN 1520.