I was tasked with writing the 5 things learned for the opening games of both the Toledo Rockets and the Buffalo Bulls. I flipped between both blowouts and sat down to write. Then I realized I didn’t really learn anything.
Tyree Jackson, the Bulls QB, threw for 6 touchdowns. I already knew he was a beast of a player. He threw 4 completions to Anthony Johnson for 57 yards and “only” one touchdown, but I don’t think it’s time for Johnson fans to circle the wagons just yet. I am fairly confident he is still going to have a huge season. Buffalo didn’t do as well rushing the ball as expected, but firing off the ball by the O line has emotion tied to it, and let’s face it, they probably didn’t get fired up to play Delaware State. I guess I would say I didn’t learn anything about their running game, other than I will be watching it a little closer against Temple.
On the defensive side of the ball, it was a similar story. They shut down the passing game, but didn’t stuff the run as well as expected. Again, effort is key here, and maybe the effort just wasn’t there, or maybe that’s going to be a problem all season.
As for the Rockets, of course the first thing I looked at was Logan Woodside’s replacement. Mitchell Guadagni looked impressive. The Rockets put up 66 and while I never really doubted their offensive, it certainly put my mind at ease.
The defensive side of the football seemed a little beefier. While they brought pressure from multiple places, there seemed to be 4 big bodies holding down the line more often than not. In recent years, I’ve felt they have done a lot of shooting gaps and hoping for the best. This defense seems more stable, for lack of a better word. Did I learn that, or was it just the result of the opponent? We’ll know a lot more after their matchup against Miami.
I came into the season thinking Toledo would compete for the West, as long as the QB situation was solid. So far so good. As for Buffalo, I know the talent is there, but I still have questions. The biggest is stopping the run. We’ll see.
Both teams certainly showed the potential to compete for a division championship, but it was one game against an inferior opponent. I am mostly a believer in both teams, however I don’t believe any more or less because of their week one opponents.