Congratulations fellow Buffalo fans. We are 3-1 and going into Conference play with a good, close win. I remember a lot of our predictions before the season, and that was what people were hoping for. And we beat an SEC team that is better than their record says it is. It was only their 5th non-Conference loss in the last decade. We stepped up when we needed to, cut down the penalties, and we started strong. It wasn't perfect, but it was a win. 29-27 (I predicted 27-24, that's pretty darn close!)
See my instant reactions after the jump!
I got to watch the game with Ralphie Report member fluffybuff, which was fun.
Curtis Cunningham had a pretty good game. We got a little loose against the run in the second quarter, and a big part of that was on the interior of our Defensive Line, but Cunningham had some really nice plays.
How about Josh Hartigan? We saw tonight why he was able to hang onto that starting spot after Forrest West came back from injury. Two sacks and a couple of other nice plays by Hartigan.
That A.J. Green is good. But Jimmy Smith was better when they were matched up on his side. Jalil Brown did not have as good a day covering Green. Brown had solid coverage on a couple of those plays, but Green made some spectacular catches.
Nice tackle for a loss late in the game by Derrick Webb, the Redshirt Freshman Linebacker. He is a player.
Our Tight Ends did not have a good game. Or at least our conventional Tight Ends did not. Matt Bahr had a good game. He snagged a nice TD. I was waiting for that.
PLAY ACTION!!!! It took them long enough, jeez. We were calling for it all game, and they finally pulled it out in the third quarter, with Hansen going downfield to Will Jefferson for 46 yards.
Speaking of Tyler Hansen, what a game he had. I only saw a few passes that were off today (that's saying a lot after those first couple of games). His pick wasn't a perfect throw, but it was also Ryan Deehan's fault for tipping it into the air. Hansen got it done with his feet when he had to, escaping pressure and gaining yards, but he kept his head up as evidenced by his excellent escape and pass for a first down to Rodney Stewart early in the fourth quarter.
Good game by Stewart, and a solid game by Lockridge.
I liked a good portion of our offensive playcalling (finally!) throughout the game. We tossed the ball out to the Running Backs, something I said we had to do in my Game Preview, which was really effective. we also ran the ball early, which was really nice to see.
Special Teams: What is going on?!? Our coverage units have been AWFUL this season. And how do you allow a big return on a pretty good directional punt?!? The whole point of that is to corner the returner. Yikes. That is a big problem. We are still putting our defense in bad positions. Punting has improved each game, but it's not there yet. And Goodman missed a kick. At least it was a long FG (though the call there was iffy) attempt, but still, it looks like Zebras really can't change their stripes. Fortunately we weren't the only team that missed a FG out there tonight.
And that's all I've got tonight. It was awesome to see the '90 Nat'l Championship team lead the team out of the tunnel.