After EMU (1-3) was able to rest up on their bye week, the Eagles are set to hit the road for more MAC play. Even with all of the propaganda about Ron English floating around Ypsilanti, the Eagles are ready leave their rocky start in the past (that is, at least, my assumption) and move on to have a better season than we're all expecting them to have. Instead of giving you all one of my normal previews of a few footnotes here and there, I decided to talk to Conrad Mostiller from UB Bull Run about the upcoming game.
Hustle Belt: You lose a respectable game to The Ohio State University, lose in a one-sided affair to Baylor, and then have a 5OT winner over Stoney Brook. After a bye week, you took care of UConn without any real problem. What changed for the Bulls in that UConn game?
Bull Run: Personally, I believe for the players, those games against major teams have a larger impact than just a loss. Injuries, players beat up but still playing at less than 100%, and players just plain tired after those games is a factor. In addition, I think you lose confidence. There is also a theory floating around that our coaches are great at game-planning, they just can't do it in 7 days...give them more than 7, watch out.
I'm not praising UB too much yet, the UConn game is also a function of UConn's poor season, their coaches lame duck status, and the emotional letdown of their Michigan game the previous week. This week, EMU comes to UB rested off of a bye; we'll see what happens on Saturday.
HB: Khalil Mack could be one of the first linebackers taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. What would a bad game against EMU do to his draft stock?
BR: I think his draft stock is pretty locked in between now and the Senior Bowl/Combine. He played his best game all year against Ohio State on ESPN, breaking down the biggest doubts about him, his level of opponents and his reaction to "big time" pressure. I don't think too many scouts will be watching EMU at UB.
HB: If you had to pick one, would you say that the Buffalo offense is A) over-achieving, B) under-achieving, or C) exactly what you thought it would be? Why?
BR: Slightly under-acheiving, Joe Licata will start his 9th career game this Saturday, so he is still basically a Freshman and his struggle is to be expected, that said he is the most promising QB we've had since Drew Willy.
Branden Oliver has underperformed due to injury and our team has missed his production.
Alex Neutz is amazing, although opposing defenses have noticed and brought down his production level the past few weeks.
The non stars have been so-so. We desperately need more from them.
If Oliver gets back to form, we'll be about where we thought we'd be. If a #2 WR or our 2 Tight Ends really take hold during MAC play, we'll exceed expectations.
HB: A few people had Buffalo as their dark horse picks to win the MAC-East. Is that still a realistic possibility?
Bowling Green is 2-0, and they only have two real tests against Toledo and Ohio. Ohio looks good and their only test is Bowling Green. If Buffalo gets through their next 4 games (EMU, WMU, UMass and Kent) 4-0 or 3-1, they should have a shot to win the East in Buffalo as they host both Ohio and BGSU in November.
HB: For those making the drive from the Ypsi/Arbor or Metro Detroit areas to Buffalo, what are some good bars or restaurants in the area that the EMU fans should hit up to have a successful trip?
BR: I haven't lived in Buffalo in six years, so I'm not the best tour guide but if you find yourself on campus on Friday, get the Mae Won Dak at Korean Express.
Friday night you can't go wrong with the Pearl Street Brewery downtown during a Sabres home game (maybe if you get there early, they'll switch a TV to the Red Wings game, but maybe not; they are division rivals now. And find your scene on Chippewa street afterwards. After the last call (4 am) it's Steak subs at Jim's Steakout.
Saturday morning is an early start, and UB has stepped up it's tailgating so that is a must-go. Amy's Place on Main for breakfast, then tailgate featuring Kool & The Gang at 10.
Post-game wings at Duffs (5 minutes from UB Stadium) in Amherst is a must. Not a great "watch the game" option, so you might opt to take the wings to go.
You can find the answers to what Bull Run asked me right ---->here.
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