Week One Preview: Buffalo

It’s finally here. Week one of college football has arrived and Maryland is set to host the Buffalo Bulls this Saturday for a noon kickoff inside Maryland Stadium. In the first matchup between Maryland and Buffalo, we take a look at the Terps’ first opponent of the 2022 season.

Head Coach: Maurice Linguist
2nd year at Buffalo, 4-8
2021 Record: Overall: 4-8, Conference: 2-6

Linguist enters his second season as Buffalo’s head coach after stints with Michigan, Texas A&M, Minnesota and Mississippi State while also serving as the cornerbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys back in 2020. The former Buffalo defensive back struggled in year one as head coach, but returns seven all conference selections from one season ago. With 70 combined players from Maryland set to face off this weekend, we take a look at how the Bulls stack up heading into Saturday.

Direct Link for Maryland Football Single-Game Tickets

Offense

The offense averaged over 400 yards per game with the ground game accounting for almost half of that.

The passing attack has been average over the years but when the team was winning, everything revolved around the ground game. Buffalo led the MAC in third down conversions. Quarterback Kyle Vantrease has graduated so on comes senior Cole Snyder. Snyder, a Rutgers transfer, was named the starting quarterback last week and played in six games in 2021 and was 18-for-28 for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also added 42 rushing yards while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors.

The running back room lost leading rusher, Dylan McDuffie, to Georgia Tech. The attack will work around Ron Cook, a former St. John’s standout, who ran for 377 yards last fall. Cook was named second team all-MAC as a kick returner and will be joined by Mike Washington and sophomore Caron Robinson in the backfield.

The receiving room gets back leading receiver Quian Williams, the former Eastern Michigan Eagle who was named to the 2022 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List. Williams started all 12 games at wide receiver while leading the Bulls in receiving with 64 catches for 835 yards and two touchdowns. He was named All-MAC Third Team. Buffalo also added Justin Marshall, a former Maryland target out of high school and transfer addition from Louisville, while Arizona transfer Boobie Curry will look to make his 27th appearance at the college level.

Defense

This is where the Bulls return six starters and a pair of All-MAC selections. The defensive front might be the team’s biggest strength. The line is one of the few areas on the team with plenty of depth and a good rotation. Daymond Williams is a name to know on the defense. He is 300 pounds and should once again be among the MAC’s best interior pass rushers.

James Patterson, former St. Vincent Pallotti star and brother of Commanders running back Jarret Patterson, is the best player in the MAC. Patterson was named to the watch list for the 2022 Butkus and Bednarik Awards as well as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Patterson started all 12 games at middle linebacker and led the Bulls and ranked second in the MAC in tackles with 116. He added a team-best 13 tackles for loss as well as 4.5 sacks. This had him named first-team All-MAC. The veteran linebacker will take over everything in the 4-2-5 alignment.

The secondary got help from the transfer portal to boost up an already decent group. Marcus Fuqua should be one of the team’s leading tacklers while the secondary added cornerback Elijah Blades, a former Florida and Texas A&M defensive back.

Key Transfer

CB Caleb Offord, Jr.
The Bulls snagged Caleb Offord from Notre Dame along with Elijah Blades from Florida. Offord is listed at 6-foot-1, 192 pounds. Blades made 19 tackles for Texas A&M then transferred to Florida before landing at Buffalo.

Prediction: 42-10, Maryland

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