On Wednesday night, the University at Buffalo will hit the field in their first “important” contest of the 2012 season.
The Bulls open the MAC portion of their schedule when they host the Kent State Golden Flashes at UB Stadium at 7pm on Wednesday, a game that will be televised on ESPNU.
Both teams enter the contest at 1-1, having beaten FCS teams for their only victories.
The Bulls believe that they have a special team, a team that could win the MAC East.
When asked before the season, UB defensive end Steven Means not only admitted that the Bulls goal is to win the MAC Championship but also admitted that they will win it when it’s all said and done.
In order to accomplish that goal, UB must get out to a nice start in conference play.
The Bulls have shown that they have some serious talent on the offensive side of the ball as quarterback Alex Zordich, running back Branden Oliver and receiver Alex Neutz have all been standouts to this point of the season.
It will be crucial for all three to step up big in conference play in order for UB to reach their goals.
On Wednesday, the Bulls will be going up against a mediocre Kent State squad that they must defeat if they want to be competitive in the MAC.
Last year, led by quarterback Spencer Keith, the Golden Flashes went 5-7 (4-4), just falling short of becoming bowl eligible.
After a poor start to last season put Kent State at only 1-6 overall, the Golden Flashes rebounded by winning four games in a row before falling to Temple in their season finale.
They have talent on both sides of the ball but like to win with their defense. Kent State was 4-3 in games in which they allowed 22 or less points in 2011.
They look to bring that defensive intensity into UB Stadium as they look to start conference play with a win.
That won’t be the easiest task for Kent State though.
Bulls’ running back Branden Oliver is off to a great start to 2012, having rushed for 349 yards and three touchdowns in only two games.
Newly appointed quarterback Alex Zordich is poised and has looked great in his two starts versus Georgia and Morgan State.
Zordich and receiver Alex Neutz have found a connection that has led UB’s offense to be dominant at times, although they haven’t done it versus a balanced schedule.
Kent State will be looking to shut down the UB trio as they try to make the jump to MAC respectability.
The Golden Flashes will be relying on Spencer Keith to have a big game on Wednesday.
Keith has yet to throw for a touchdown or an interception this year but is in his fourth year starting for the Golden Flashes and wants to make an impact his senior year.
When Keith’s not throwing the ball, look for him to hand it off to running back’s Trayion Durham and Dri Archer.
Durham gets more carries but Archer has almost the same exact amount of yards in half the amount of carries and two more touchdowns on the ground than Durham.
This game has the potential to be a very entertaining, close game that will reveal the true identities of both teams come Wednesday night.
If the Bulls offense takes care of business the way I think they’re capable of, look for UB to take this game and start out MAC play 1-0.
Prediction: UB 28-24