Following a gut-wrenching 37-31 loss against FCS opponent Holy Cross in Week 2, UB (0-2) is set to hit the road and take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (2-0) in Brooks Stadium on Saturday. The Bulls look to rebound from last week’s heartbreaker while the Chants, who are coming off a 31-27 victory over Gardner-Webb, have the opportunity to enter their conference schedule with an undefeated record.
While UB and CCU had vastly different results last week, both quarterbacks put up impressive performances in their most recent matchups. Junior quarterback Cole Synder finished with a 67.6% completion percentage on 34 attempts while throwing for 305 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. For Coastal Carolina, junior quarterback Grayson McCall went 22-for-30 along with 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against FCS foe Gardner-Webb.
Players to watch for Buffalo
Graduate wide receiver Justin Marshall asserted himself in last week’s matchup against Holy Cross. After a modest 52-yard showing against Maryland in Week 1, the Louisville transfer exploded for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall could take advantage once again against Coastal, who allowed 448 passing yards against an inferior opponent in Gardner-Webb last week. He’ll have difficult matchups against super-senior cornerback D’Jordan Strong (two-time All-Sun Belt First Team selection) and redshirt freshman cornerback Lance Boykin (two interceptions last week), so a strong performance could go a long way in solidifying Marshall as a big-time playmaker.
Snyder has been solid through UB’s first two games. He didn’t particularly stand out against Maryland two weeks ago (18-for-35 passing for 160 yards with no touchdowns), but he never made a costly mistake against a Big Ten opponent. Like Marshall, he put on a dazzling performance last week against Holy Cross. Snyder also proved to be a threat on the ground and rushed for 67 yards in addition to his 305 passing yards and three touchdowns. Coming off the best game of his career, Snyder should see ample opportunities against CCU.
Players to watch for Coastal Carolina
Senior running back Reese White is now enjoying his fourth season as an integral part of Coastal’s backfield attack. The shifty running back rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown in the Chants’ Week 1 matchup against Army but didn’t have as big an impact against Gardner-Webb (35 yards on 13 carries). Luckily for White, the Bulls have given up an average of 184 rushing yards through two games. Now in his fourth year in head coach Jamey Chadwell’s triple-option offense, the 5’10 back should be able to exploit gaps in UB’s defense.
After spending four years with Sun Belt rival Georgia State, redshirt senior receiver Sam Pinckney has already made an impact in his first season with the teal and black. The 2020 All-Sun Belt Second Team selection finished with 69 receiving yards and a touchdown against Army in Week 1 and hauled in seven receptions for 87 yards against Gardner-Webb last week.
At 0-2, UB is nearing must-win territory heading into this week’s game against Coastal Carolina. The Bulls are now 4-12 under head coach Maurice Linguist, while the Chanticleers — who spent a good portion of last season ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll — are 24-3 since 2020 under Chadwell. In many ways, Coastal Carolina is a representation of what UB aims to be. The Chants are one of the most formidable Group of Five opponents in college football and have developed a model of consistency over the past three seasons. UB put up a good fight in a 28-25 loss against CCU last season, but the Bulls are on a downward trajectory this time around. Expect UB to compete yet ultimately fall short against a superior team on the road Saturday.
Final prediction: Coastal Carolina over Buffalo, 42-27.
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