Turning off the lights: The Spectrum's Scouting Report
The football team (4-6, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) faces Kent State (1-9, 0-6 MAC) in its final home game of the season Wednesday night. The Golden Flashes have the second-worst offense in the MAC with 306 yards per game, and their defense does not fair much better, ranking ninth in the conference.
Colin Reardon, sophomore quarterback
Reardon leads the fourth-worst scoring offense in the country, but he had his best game of the season four weeks ago in a 39-17 win over Army. Reardon threw a season-best three touchdowns and 360 yards to lead the Golden Flashes to their only win of the season.
Reardon started every game for Kent State as a freshman last season, but he seems to have regressed in his sophomore season. He has thrown 15 interceptions – including four in a loss to Bowling Green last week – after throwing just nine all of last year. The 6-foot-2 quarterback is a threat on the ground, as he has run for 474 yards and four touchdowns in almost two full seasons.
Casey Pierce, senior tight end
Pierce is a tight end, but he leads the Golden Flashes’ in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He also leads all MAC tight ends in those categories. Pierce had his best game of season last week against Bowling Green, when he finished with a career-best 12 catches and 127 yards and a touchdown.
Buffalo has yet to face a tight end on Pierce’s caliber this season but if any defense is equipped to cover a tight end, it’s Buffalo’s. The Bulls run a 3-3-5 defense so their linebackers are faster and more athletic and therefor more capable of covering a tight end down the field.
Nate Terhune, junior defensive tackle
Terhune was named the toughest college football player in the country by NFL.com this August after the nose tackle took only four weeks off to recover from a broken leg last season.
Terhune is tough for opposing offensive lines as well. The junior has 21 tackles with 5.5 for losses. He also has half of Kent State’s sacks this season (3.5 of 7). The Bulls’ offensive line will have to do its best to block Terhune and prevent him from getting pressure on quarterback Joe Licata and stopping running back Anthone Taylor in the run game.
Buffalo’s run game vs. Kent State’s run defense
Kent State has the second best pass defense in the MAC, but that’s largely because opponents run the ball on them so much.
The Golden Flashes have faced the most rush attempts, 468, of any team in the MAC, and have allowed 4.7 yards per carry. With the possibility of snow Wednesday night, the run game may be a large part of Buffalo’s offensive game plan.
Taylor and sophomore running back Jordan Johnson formed a great tandem last week – both running for more than 100 yards against Akron – and Buffalo may try to repeat that success against the second-worst MAC rush defense in unfavorable conditions.