The second-place Ohio Bobcats head out east to take on the first-place Buffalo Bulls in a MAC East heavyweight bout. With just four weeks to go in the regular season, both teams are locked in a race for a chance to go to Detroit and play in the MAC Championship. Ohio's bounced back with a pair of huge wins after being upset by Central Michigan a few weeks ago. Buffalo's rattled off six straight wins since losing its first two games to Ohio State and Baylor.
BY THE NUMBERS:
These two teams enter the contest with 6-2 records, though Buffalo holds a perfect 4-0 MAC record, while Ohio is 3-1. The teams match up incredibly well on paper too. Both schools have top scoring defenses, with the 'Cats allowing just 21.8 points-per-game, and the Bulls allowing 22.9. They also are No. 2 and No. 3 in the conference respectively in total defense.
Ohio has the slight advantage on offense, averaging 33.6 points-per-game, whereas Buffalo is averaging 31. The 'Cats also average about 50 more yards a game tanks in part to their second-best passing attack. Buffalo has the better ground game, averaging 173 yards-per-game. Despite the similar records, Ohio's wins have came against teams with a combined 14-38 record, vs Buffalo which has beaten opponents with a combined 8-44 record.
FOUR NAMES TO KNOW:
Khalil Mack - Widely regarded as the best player in the MAC, Mack is a defensive nightmare. The 6'3'', 250-pound linebacker has been terrorizing offenses since he stepped foot on UB's campus. With 54 tackles, seven sacks and three interceptions (two returned for TDs) Mack is shooting up the NFL Draft boards and will likely hear his name called in the Top 10. A freakish athlete with speed, size and strength, he's a one-man wrecking crew and will likely be causing Ohio's make-shift offensive line fits all evening.
Bo Oliver - The senior running back is considered by many to be the top back in the MAC in terms of NFL projections. His 874 yards this season have him sitting pretty at 20th in the nation. He's also scored nine times and has been an utter workhorse. Two weeks ago vs. UMass Oliver set a UB record when he carried the ball 43 times, totaling 216 yards in the process.
Tyler Tettleton - Ohio's redshirt senior quarterback has been rewriting the school's record books since he took over the starting role three seasons ago. He's quietly having a stellar season. Currently ranking in the Top 30 in the nation in every major passing statistic, including 10th in the country in passer efficiency. He's also exploded over the course of his past two games, throwing for seven touchdowns and nearly 700 yards.
Donte Foster - Tettleton's favorite target, foster is having an astonishing season for Ohio. He's hauled in 50 passes for 718 yards and six scores, with half of those coming in the 'Cats last game. Foster isn't the fastest, biggest, or strongest receiver on Ohio's roster, but he's smart, a skilled route-runner and has excellent hands. Foster and Tettleton are a dynamite duo that has hit its stride at the perfect time.
HOW TO WITNESS:
TV: ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET.
STREAMING: WatchESPN and ESPN3.com.
CAN'T WATCH? LISTEN LIVE:
Buffalo Fans: You can tune into the Buffalo Bulls' flagship station 1270 AM in the Buffalo region. You can also listen to the live audio broadcast online, CLICK HERE.
Ohio Fans: You can tune into the Ohio Bobcats' flagship station WXTQ 105.5 FM in the Athens area. You can also stream the live audio broadcast online, CLICK HERE.
Here's the game preview for the Buffalo - Ohio matchup. You should also check out our sister blog UB Bull Run, which has been covering the matchup since last week.