(So don’t get Buffaloed!)
We’re into full cupcake mode in Week Two of the fledgling NCAA football season — at least for the Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0, 0-0 B10), who are coming off a 79-7 dismantling of mega-cupcake Idaho. This week, PSU hosts the mighty Buffalo Bulls (1-0, 0-0 MAC), who fared well against the vaunted FCS Robert Morris Colonials, trouncing them 38-10.
I would include the Kitties’ mythical ranking in the above paragraph, but we won’t see the AP poll until tomorrow because the #9 Leprechauns must play Lousyville in primetime tonight. But tomorrow, I’ll be busy on Dorian watch, so I thought I might as well write this today.
While I might understand the Irish vs. the Cardinals being a primetime game, I sure as hell cannot figure out why the scheduling powers wanted Buffalo and Penn State to play under the lights at Beaver Stadium. Yea, verily, we’re looking at another lopsided cupcake eating contest, which might well be played before a significantly smaller crowd than that of the opening game.
So, who are these Buffalo Bulls?
However, I must add a “however.” Things don’t look so good in Buffalo this year, and I don’t mean because 23 feet of lake effect snow is forecast for the Buffalo/Niagara Metropolitan Area.
…Especially at Quarterback!
Tyree Jackson, a 6’7″, 249 lb behemoth of a quarterback, led the Bulls last year and was MAC Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,131 yards and accounting for 35 touchdowns. He is now gone, attempting to secure a job in the NFL. Meanwhile, freshman Matt Myers started at quarterback in the initial outing against Robert Morris.
He’ll be competing with redshirt sophomore Kyle Vantrease and junior Dominic Johnson, neither of whom got substantial playing time with Jackson healthy for the entire season last year.
Unfortunately for whoever emerges as the starter, Tyree Jackson’s top five receiving targets flew the coop, too. The most experienced pass catcher remaining on the team caught only 12 passes in 2018.
One offensive area in which Buffalo seems flush with returning talent is at running back. Sophomore Jaret Patterson ran for just under 1,000 yards last year, even though he saw sparse action in the first four games. Kevin Marks ran for 845 yards in 2018. In the win over Temple, Marks rang up 138 yards and two touchdowns.
What of the Defense, You Ask?
With that bright spot having been mentioned, we’re back to doom and gloom on defense. Major losses to graduation saw the departure of four of the Bulls’ top six tacklers, including sack machine Charles Harris. Nevertheless, Buffalo has several returning veterans who might give Sean Clifford and Company some trouble. (Significantly more than the Vandals did, anyhow).
Accordingly, the Nittany Lions are favored by four touchdowns. Why is that? Hell, the line opened up at around 22. Even three touchdowns is a pretty
Not This Turkey
Nay, verily not! This foul old pragmatic fowl says, “Show me!”, and I ain’t even from Missouri. If I see a well played game against the Buffalo Bulls, I’ll be encouraged, but not ecstatic. I won’t be proclaiming the Second Coming of the 1994 offense like some Sanguinarians I know, that’s for damn sure!
Perhaps Mac Hippenhammer will get more work as a punt returner. I would really like to see that. First of all, he needs the work, as was made obvious by his two mishandled punts against Idaho. Second, why do we want to risk a serious collision injury to KJ Hamler in a damn meaningless Li’l Debbie game? Certainly not because we’re concerned about losing.
The first draft of this article stated that my writing about University at Buffalo alumnus Wolf Blitzer for the 2015 game was good enough for two games. Then, while watching a Hulu original documentary called Untouchable, I learned that its subject, Harvey Weinstein, is not only a 1973 graduate of the institution, but also was awarded an honorary doctorate there in 2000. I decided to get off my lazy ass and write something. And so, without further ado, I’ll present our visitors’ alumnus of the week.
Weinstein co-founded Miramax Films with his brother Bob in
Ultimately, eighty-seven different women accused Weinstein of various and sundry sexual offenses over the years. This included some household Hollywood names. Once the dominos started falling for Weinstein, more and more women came out, spawning the #MeToo movement.
In May 2018, a New York Grand Jury indicted the producer on charges of rape in the first and third degrees and a first-degree sexual act. Then, in July 2018 Weinstein was indicted with three additional felony sex charges arising from a 2006 incident involving another woman. He is still awaiting trial for those criminal charges, having posted $1 million bond. His lawyers intend to plead not guilty. However, in May 2019, his lawyers announced that they had reached a $44 million settlement to resolve civil lawsuits brought by some of the female accusers.
Whether or not the criminal charges stick, Weinstein will always be remembered as a slimeball, but one who inspired a movement.
Again, I’m more concerned about what kind of weather Ima hafta deal with here in Central Florida, but we’re looking at partly cloudy with a high of 74 and a chance of a shower at Big Beave.
Da Bottom Line
Gobble, gobble, gobble. See Dorian go. Run, run, run. Please?!
But I digress…
Unlike the last Twinkie game, for which I refused to pull a prediction out of my ass, I think I’ll take a shot at one for this Tastycake. Current line is 28.5 with an over/under of 56. Hmmmm, that suggests a Penn State victory on the order of 42-14.
As the competition grows tougher, any flaws in our Lions will be increasingly exposed. A 79-7 win covers imperfections up very well, so I hope we can use our X-ray vision to see through the smokescreen. The most glaring issue in this Turkey’s not so humble opinion at this point is the absolutely putrid third down conversion rate of 12.5% in the Idaho game. That sucks, and this has been a problem area for quite a while now. Is it the fault of Clifford’s opening day jitters? Does the O-line still suck? Right now, we don’t have the answer, but you can bet the James Franklin Brain Trust will be working on a solution.
If the boys can get get the third-down conversions up to say, 33%, I’m going to consider that a step in the right direction. Defensively, we don’t know much yet, but it will be interesting to see Cam Brown playing in more than garbage time against a Li’l Debbie. Now then. Hear this: Penn State 45, Buffalo 10. Take the under.