The Spectrum’s Scouting Report: How to tame the Bobcats
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 16:10
The football team is preparing for a crucial conference showdown with Ohio. Here are some things to keep an eye on during Tuesday’s game.
Offensive players to watch:
Tyler Tettleton, senior, quarterback
As much as the Bulls’ identity is based around its run attack, Ohio is a pass-heavy offense that runs through Tettleton.
For the past two seasons, Tettleton has been the benchmark for quarterbacks in the Mid-American Conference. His first full season was in 2011 when he started all 14 games for the Bobcats and threw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns.
He didn’t slow down much the following season, throwing for 2,844 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games.
He’s off to another blistering start this year, already throwing for 2,029 yards and 17 touchdowns with just six interceptions through eight games.
Against Eastern Michigan on Oct. 29, Tettleton totaled 375 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-28 onslaught.
When Tettleton is playing his best, so are the Bobcats.
Beau Blankenship, senior, running back
Although Tettleton is the main threat, Blankenship is another essential faction of the Bobcats’ offense.
He put up absurd numbers last season, rushing for 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. This season, he’s been a part of a two-man backfield and has recorded 570 yards and four touchdowns.
Blankenship will be the Bobcats’ primary back on Tuesday, and if the Bulls can neutralize him, it will make handling Tettleton much easier.
Defensive player to watch:
Ben Russell, sophomore, linebacker
Ohio’s defense has been average this year, allowing 20 or more points to every FBS opponent it has faced except Akron and Miami, two low-level MAC teams.
Russell, however, has been a presence in the middle of the field for the Bobcats. He is the team’s second-leading tackler with 50 total takedowns, including 5.5 tackles for loss. Russell ranks tied for third on the team with three sacks.
Keep an eye on No. 36 in the middle of field.
Buffalo’s secondary vs. Tyler Tettleton
The Bulls have yet to face a true passing offense in MAC competition. Ohio’s aerial attack and the performance of UB’s secondary will dictate the outcome of the game.
Buffalo’s back four have proven they can intercept passes, but they have also had trouble limiting big plays.
If they can limit big plays over the top, Buffalo should find a way to win this game.
Regardless of how well the Bulls’ defense plays, Ohio is going to put up points. The Bobcats just have too many weapons. Luckily for UB, so does Buffalo.
The Bulls will run the ball until someone stops them, and that someone will not be the Bobcats. In an offensive shootout, it will be the defense with the most stops that wins this game.
Senior linebacker Khalil Mack and co. will be up for the challenge.
Buffalo 38, Ohio 31