NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: Buffalo Bulls

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The common term thrown out around the Buffalo program is "Baby Bull" describing how young everyone seems to be. The Bulls had major problems last year dealing with all the freshmen and sophomores learning on the fly and it cost them in game after game after game. While inexperience might be an acceptable excuse, the problem was that there wasn't much improvement over the course of the season failing to win a game after a shocking early win over Rutgers. The D-I experience hasn't been a good one so far for Buffalo. At some point there has to be at least a little bit of hope for the future. That confidence and hope will only come with wins. While the MAC is getting better, it's still the easiest conference outside of the Sun Belt to improve with a few teams ranking among the worst in college football year in and year out. Buffalo has to prove it isn't one of those teams and isn't going to be an automatic win for MAC teams. With a ton of returning experience and young playmakers at key positions, the Bulls should be able to pull off a couple of wins. At the very least, the team should start being more competitive.

Buffalo Bulls
Team Information
Head coach: Jim Hofher
3rd year at UB: 4-19
11th year overall: 48-55
Returning O Lettermen: 20
Returning D Lettermen: 20
Returning ST Lettermen: 1
Lettermen Lost: 14
Ten Best UB Players
1. RB Aaron Leeper, Soph.
2. OT Zach Love, Soph.
3. LB Lamar Wilcher, Sr.
4. FS Mark Graham, Sr.
5. SS J.J. Gibson, Jr.
6. OG Erik Zeppuhar, Jr.
7. QB Randal Secky, Jr.
8. C Eric Weber, Soph.
9. LB Rodney Morris. Jr.
10. CB Gemara Williams, Soph.
2003 Schedule
8/30 at Rutgers
9/6 at Iowa
9/13 Colgate
9/20 Connecticut
9/27 Akron
10/4 at UCF
10/11 at Miami
10/18 Marshall
10/25 Ohio
11/1 at Toledo
11/8 Northern Illinois
11/22 at Kent State
The Schedule: If the Bulls don't get out of the first part of the slate with some wins, it'll be another long season. Rutgers isn't going to take UB lightly after getting spanked. Colgate is a must win since UConn and Akron aren't the pushovers they've been the last few years. Four of the final seven games are on the road with two of the home games coming against MAC powerhouses Marshall and Northern Illinois. Best Offensive Player: Sophomore RB Aaron Leeper. After carrying the running game as a freshman, Leeper hit the weights and got bigger and stronger. After working so hard in the off-season, he's planning on becoming even more of a workhorse. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Lamar Wilcher. Free safety Mark Graham is the leader of the secondary, but Wilcher is the quarterback of the defense. He's a huge hitter that tries to set the tone for the D with his lights-out hits. Key player to a successful season: The defense has experience and depth at every spot except corner and tackle. The corners should end up being fine, but the tackles are in bad shape after the loss of Bill Meholif for the season with a knee injury. That means Rashad Clark and Rob Schroeder have to be stars on the inside or teams are going to run at will up the Buffalo gut. The season will be a success if: Buffalo wins three games. With all the returning starters and all of the experience, it's time for the Bulls to start winning something. Assuming the team can handle Colgate, the only games on the slate that UB won't be a huge underdog will be against Akron, Ohio and Kent State. The Bulls have to win one of those and pull off an upset somewhere else. Key game: Sept. 27 vs. Akron. The MAC opener will be a big one for the Bulls needing to establish that they're going to be competitive in conference play. A blow out loss will kill all hopes for a competitive season. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • UB played in front of less than 10,000 fans six times.
  • Penalties: Opponents 92 for 831 yards - UB 73 for 641
  • Rushing yards per game: Opponents 206.8 - UB 98.3
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Sagan Atuatasi DT 6-3 338 Los Alamitos, CA/Los Alamitos/Long Beach JC

    Marck Abraham DT 6-3 255 Deerfield Beach, FL/Deerfield Beach
    Terrance Breaux FS 6-3 185 Randallstown, MD/Randallstown
    Tommy Breaux WR 6-6 185 Randallstown, MD/Randallstown
    Jon Burgio OL 6-81/2 320 Clarence, NY/Clarence
    DeShawn Brooks LB 6-1 222 Detroit, MI/Finney/San Jacquin Delta
    Kareem Byrom DB 5-10 170 New Brunswick, NJ/New Brunswick
    Mike Cebrosky OL 6-31/2 270 Lehighton, PA/Lehighton
    Travis Coughlin OL 6-6 275 Royal Oak, MI/Bishop Foley
    Ollice Ervin LB 6-2 214 Vero Beach, FL/Vero Beach
    Jeff Green WR 6-3 190 Fairport, NY/Fairport
    LaRon Haymore LB 6-1 210 St. Louis, MO/Cardinal Ritter
    *Lucas Johnson OL 6-6 300 Wayzata, MN/Wayzata/Bakersfield CC
    James Judges TE/DE 6-5 240 Pickering, Ontario/St. Marys Secondary
    DeSean Larmond WR/DB 6-0 165 Brooklyn, NY/Midwood
    *Brian Miller TE 6-41/2 222 Santa Clarita, CA/Valencia/College of the Canyons JC
    Chris Moore QB 6-5 210 Highland Village, TX/Flower Mound Marcus
    Jamey Richard OL 6-5 280 Westin, CT/Westin
    Todd Robertson LB 6-1 205 Amherst, NY/Sweet Home
    Trevor Scott TE 6-5 225 Potsdam, NY/Potsdam
    Andrae Smith DE 6-4 217 Bloomfield, CT/Bloomfield
    *Quenzell Smith OL 6-4 360 Syracuse, NY/Henninger/Canisius College
    Ken Sussman TE/FB 6-3 250 Great Neck, NY/Great Neck North
    Greg Vrantsis TE 6-3 242 Hamilton, Ontario/Barton Secondary
    * Potential Instant Impact Player

  • Tagged: Rutgers, Michigan, Minnesota, Marshall, Western Michigan, Buffalo, Ball State, Akron, Ohio, Kent State, Connecticut, East Carolina, Army

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