October 13, 2012 - 10:01 PM
Catching up on MAC happenings after the UB game:
Toledo RB David Fluellen (Lockport) continues to shine for the Rockets. He ran for for 188 and 2 TDs in a wild win over Eastern Michigan, a game that had 7 scoring plays of 50 yards or more. Toledo's @ UB In 2 weeks.
I'm surprised by the ease with which Bowling Green beat Miami. That's a nice win for Falcons head coach Dave Clawson (Lew-Port), who's been on the hot seat.
Ohio's still unbeaten and therefore bucking for a national ranking but from here the Bobcats aren't in the same class as once-beaten Northern illinois. Huskies could give a lot of AQs fits.
Western Michigan tied Ball State on a 52-yard FG on the final play of regulation before losing in OT. Andrew Haldeman made the bomb then missed from 36 in added time.
As for UB, that Kent St. 3 weeks back game has Jeff Quinn in a perilous position. Win that one and Saturday's disintegration at NIU can be written off as a clunker. Not now. Bulls have been hammered in 2 of 3 MAC games. It's one thing to get beat, quite another to get rolled. A tough schedule doesn't excuse the lack of competitivness.
-- Bob DiCesare
October 13, 2012 - 7:20 PM
Northern Illinois 45, UB 3
Game Analysis: Here's the approach NIU took: We're going to run and you're not. The Huskies committed to stopping the Bulls on the ground and did it, both through superior play in the trenches and with the safeties pushing into the box. That forced UB to the air, and the Bulls aren't nearly mature enough in the passing game to compensate. NIU's 21-point second quarter erased all doubt.
Turning Point: UB's defense appeared to have produced a second straight three-and-out until NIU faked the punt and Luke Eakes ran 32 yards for a first down on the UB 28. That led to a TD and a 14-3 NIU lead early in the second quarter.
Player of the Game: Just go ahead and give NIU QB Jordan Lynch the MAC Player of the Year. His influence on a game is profound. He's tough running between the tackles. He turns the corner in a flash. UB had no idea how to defense him off zone reads. Does he have it? Doesn't he? He ran for 129 and threw for 232.
Play of the Game: Lynch found his favorite target, Martel Moore, on a vertical down the right side, hit him in stride and watched Moore carry Cortney Lester and Whitney Sherry to the end zone. The play covered 43 yards and made it 35-3 early in the third quarter.
Stat Watch I: Ranked 23rd nationally in rush offense coming in, UB netted just 74 yards on 39 carries.
Stat Watch II: Why even keep time of possession? UB had the ball 29:50, or almost half the game.
They Said It: "I'm not numb at all. I'm extremely angry. I'm aggravated. It's a very difficult situation to be in. . . . It's nowhere near the kind of football I expected out of our team today."" -- Bulls coach Jeff Quinn
In the House: A mere 14,419 on a dreary, rainy Homecoming at Huskie Stadium.
Next Up: The Bulls finally return home but there's no respite. In comes Pitt of the Big East. The Panthers scored a 35-16 win over UB in last year's season opener but are 2-4 under first-year coach Paul Chryst.
-- Bob DiCesare
October 13, 2012 - 5:07 PM
DEKALB, ILL. -- NIU has this game firmly in hand after a first half that ended with the sides jawing heatedly at one another. The breaking point for UB came when NIU safety Jimmie Ward laid out WR Alex Neutz with an apparent helmet-to-helmet hit on a pass play inside the final minute. As Neutz lay on the ground some Bulls had to be restrained from going onto the field at Ward, who was ejected.
Personal fouls were issued against both teams on the next play as well, and Jeff Quinn called a timeout near midfield with 10 seconds left, apparently to get his team refocused.
UB hit the locker room trialing 28-3 and looking for answers. NIU already has 191 yards rushing (128 by QB Jordan Lynch) has outgained the Bulls 298-158 as a whole. The Huskies are swarming the box to effectively stop UB's run game (20-43). Alex Zordich, meanwhile, is having his best passing day in a while -- 12-18-115 .
Neutz did return to the game a couple plays after the hit.
-- Bob DiCesare
October 13, 2012 - 1:30 PM
DeKalb, Ill. -- It's dark. It's dreary. The rain's arrived and is expected to fall most of the day. If it wasn't for the artificial turf the mud would be flying in a few hours, when UB and Northern Illinois get at it on Homecoming here at Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium.
Can I get on my soapbox for a minute? Doesn't matter. I am anyway. It cost $4.20 in tolls to drive the 30 miles from Naperville -- where there are hotels -- to DeKalb. There wasn't one toll stop, but three. Two of them were unattended and require exact change because, you know, everybody carries around $3-5 in change in their cars. Make that $6-10, presuming you're going back from where you came.
Luckily the personable and helpful women attending the one booth was able to clue me in and give me $2 in quarters so I could get off at the DeKalb exit. Thank you!
Why is it that states awash with toll booths all seem to be Democratic Party strongholds? Doesn't charging people to drive roads maintained with the help of federal dollars amount to double taxation?
Or is this how we raise taxes without raising taxes and maintain the large public sector work force that, in turn, keeps the party in the driver's seat? We certainly can ponder that question in good ole NY.
I could go on and on but enough. The rainy, windy conditions probably take the long passing game out of the equation today. Would expect NIU to stack the box against UB and force QB Alex Zordich to convert some first downs through the air. That hasn't been his forte although -- and this needs to be understood -- the receiving corps minus Alex Neutz has not impressed. You can't complete passes to receivers who can't get open.
I would expect to see the Bulls take the same approach to containing NIU running QB Jordan Lynch. Zordich's one third-down pass conversion last week was one more than Lynch had against Ball State. The conditions suggest this could turn into a low-scoring, defense-dominated affair although I've said that before and missed the target by miles.
Two hours til kickoff.....
-- Bob DiCesare
October 13, 2012 - 12:46 AM
DeKalb, Ill. -- If the forecast proves accurate then thunderstorms could complicate UB's 3:30 start at Northern Illinois today. They're calling for a 90% chance of rain around kickoff with the potential for strong storms. If lightning's spotted the game is delayed for a specified period. I can't remember how long that is though. Thirty minutes? An hour? Hopefully we won't find out.
-- Bob DiCesare
October 10, 2012 - 2:12 PM
October 9, 2012 - 3:29 PM
Bo Oliver (knee) remains day-to-day but UB coach Jeff Quinn said
the junior tailback is doing more in practice than he did last week.
“He’s progressing and as you know sometimes these
things take longer than we expect to get him back in there,’’ Quinn said. “After
[Monday] it looked a lot better than even Saturday. We were feeling pretty good
about where he was at.’’
But the Bulls have quality depth at tailback after Devin
Campbell, who entered the season fourth on the depth chart, ran for 160 yards
and a touchdown to become just the second true freshman in the Bulls FBS era to
rush for 100 yards in a game. Campbell had 30 carries and averaged 5.3 yards a
pop, and also had two receptions for 20 yards and
accounted for 180 yards of total offense.
“When you look at guys like Devin Campbell who can
come in and step up that’s a great sign to know we’re recruiting the right
kinds of guys,’’ Quinn said. “We’re getting the right kind of play and
production out of those kids, they’re stepping up – that Next Bull In mentality.
He’s a true freshman that rushed for 160 yards and totaled 180 in all-purpose
Brandon Murie (ankle) is expected to be ready for
the Northern Illinois game after missing Ohio. There were no changes on the
Bulls two deep.
October 8, 2012 - 1:22 PM
Last week, the Atlantic 10 announced a new eight-year TV package deal for its men's and women's basketball programs with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and the NBC Sports Group. The agreement, as per the A-10 press release, will "provide over 192 total basketball exposures, including 146 men's basketball appearances. This includes coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of both the men's and women's basketball championships."
ESPN retains the rights to both the men's and women's championship games. CBS Sports Network will carry the semifinals while NBC Sports Network will produce the quarterfinals.
The agreement begins in the 2013-14 season and extends through 2021-22.
While the number of women's games is still small (32 regular season games, 46 total) compared with the men's exposure, the A-10 release did note that, "[t]his represents a 77 percent increase in women's basketball television exposure for the A-10."
For ESPN blogger Eamonn Brennan, the TV package along, along with conference realignment and moving the conference tournament to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a sign the A-10 is on the rise. Brennan wrote:
"When you combine this TV deal -- which, again, doubles the number of nationally televised Atlantic 10 games available to fans in a wide range of markets -- with the additions the conference made in realignment this year (household-name programs like Butler and VCU), the end result is a league that feels stronger than it ever has before."
In an unrelated matter, the St. Bonaventure basketball programs released their slogan for the 2012-13 season, a task for which they solicited input from the public. The winner? "No sleep 'til Brooklyn." Now we'll have the Beastie Boys in our head. All. Season. Long.
--- Amy Moritz
October 6, 2012 - 2:41 PM
ATHENS, Ohio -- We're headed to the fourth quarter tied at 24 with Ohio at the UB 1.
-- Bob DiCesare