It’s never easy losing a key player. It’s even tougher when an entire offense is built around said player.
That’s what University at Buffalo is facing after star running back Branden Oliver missed the entire second half of Wednesday night’s Mid-American Conference opener against the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Oliver suffered a leg injury in Buffalo’s 23-7 loss over Kent State, however, the loss of such an important player is bigger than any L on the record. It’s a loss that could cost UB a chance at a MAC East title which has head coach Jeff Quinn crossing his fingers.
“We don’t know how long he’ll be yet,” he said. “We’re hoping for the best.”
It can be sugarcoated all the coaches want, the fact of the matter is that it’s darn near impossible to replace a player that means so much to a team like Oliver does to the Bulls. It would be like the Packers trying to replace Aaron Rodgers — it’s likely going to fail.
Nonetheless, UB is going to have to rely on the running of Brandon Murie to help propel an offense that is clearly focused on running the ball. Murie didn’t play bad during the second half against the Golden Flashes. He ran for 37 yards on 9 carries which averaged out to 4.1 yards per carry, but is he the type of back that can be relied on the be the guy for the Bulls.
“We have a lot of faith in Murie,” said Bulls QB Alex Zordich. “He’s a really good back.”
Needless to say, the Bulls are going to have their worked cut out for them from hear on out if Oliver is going to miss a lot of time. It may even require them to transform into more of a passing team during his absence.