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2018 MAC Football Preview: Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls

A potential deciding game in the MAC East

NCAA Football: Akron at Northwestern Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Akron Zips travel to upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Bulls in a game that could potentially take Akron out of the MAC East race. The Bulls are looking to move to 3-0 in conference play, while the Zips are currently 0-1.


Game Details

Who: Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls

When: Oct. 13 at noon.

Where: UB Stadium, Buffalo, New York

Watch: CBS Sports Network

Line: Buffalo -11 per Vegasinsider.com


Keys to the contest

The Zips got walloped last time out, in large part because of turnovers. For Akron to win, they need to hold on to the ball, while also forcing Buffalo to turn it over. I also believe the Zips will need to keep the Buffalo defense honest. If they allow them to focus on Kato Nelson, then they will struggle to move the football.

The Bulls were motoring right along until they got destroyed by a tough Army squad. They then righted the ship by beating Central Michigan, however I am not convinced all is well. This game at home against a solid Akron squad is a much bigger test. If the Bulls protect the football and manage to punch it in against the Akron defense, they really shouldn’t have a hard time stopping the Akron offense. However, if the defensive intensity isn’t there, and the offense doesn’t play with a sense of urgency on every drive, then the Bulls could be upset.


Prediction

I think being snubbed for a bowl after finishing with 6 wins really motivated this Buffalo squad. The Army offense proved too tricky for the Bull defense, but I don’t expect Akron to be able to exploit it in the same way. The fact that the Bulls are at home, plus this would give them their 6th win. I think those two factors will cause the Bulls to play with intensity, and win 38-17.