Ohio is facing its biggest test yet.
The Bobcats begin Midweek MACtion this week, and it will be no easy feat. As if adjusting to playing in the middle of the week wasn’t hard enough, the Bobcats are facing the top team in the Mid-American Conference East Division: Buffalo.
This game is especially important because it will determine if Buffalo stays atop the division, or if Ohio will take its place. It could also play a factor in who will be heading to Detroit for the MAC Championship Game.
Here is everything to know about Buffalo:
Maurice Linguist is in his second season as head coach at Buffalo after joining the program in May 2021. Before Buffalo, Linguist worked as a secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
Buffalo struggled in Linguist’s first season, going 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the conference. However, Linguist has helped turn the team around this season. After starting the season 0-3, Buffalo is currently on a five-game win streak and is 4-0 in the MAC.
This may be due in part to Buffalo’s record recruiting class, which Linguist signed at the beginning of 2022. The recruiting class was ranked second best in the MAC, according to 247sports. For comparison, Ohio’s class of recruits was ranked last.
Junior Cole Snyder has been the leader of the Bulls offense this season. He is averaging 238.4 passing yards per game, the fourth most in the conference. However, Snyder’s 130.7 pass efficiency is around the middle of the pack.
Snyder has proved he’s consistent, even against other good teams. On Oct. 22 vs. Toledo, he threw for 245 yards and one touchdown.
Buffalo has two players on the brink of 500 receiving yards this season. Justin Marshall has 497 yards, while Quian Williams has 450. Marshall also leads the team with five touchdown catches and has the longest catch of the year, one good for 69 yards.
Three other receivers have over 100 yards, including Jamari Gassett, who has 338. 11 of Buffalo’s receivers have played in all eight of its games.
Buffalo has the fourth most rushing yards per game in the MAC, thanks to Ron Cook Jr. and Mike Washington. Cook leads the Bulls with 496 rushing yards, but Washington is right behind him with 487. Cook and Washington are 10th and 11th in the MAC for average yards per game with 62 and 60.9, respectively.
Buffalo has eight interceptions this season, which is tied for most in the MAC. Five of those have come from Marcus Fuqua, who also leads the MAC.
Ohio’s offense has slowed down since the start of MAC play, but its defense has improved. Ohio will need to have a good game on both sides of the ball Tuesday in order to beat Buffalo, and a win is not far out of reach.