college football picks buffalo at Baylor 9-11-10

September 10, 2010


DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 11th, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000) — Waco, Texas. Television:FCS. Home Record: Buffalo 1-0, Baylor 1-0. Away Record: Buffalo 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Series Record: Buffalo leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The Baylor Bears and Buffalo Bulls go for a second straight win, as they do battle in non-conference play this weekend at Floyd Casey Stadium.

The Jeff Quinn era began with a bang for the Bulls, as they blanked FCS member Rhode Island, 31-0, in their opener on September 2nd. It marked the first shutout since 2001 for Buffalo, which is hoping to rebound from a 5-7 finish a year ago.

As for the Bears, they too were dominant against a FCS program in their opener, posting a 34-3 victory over Sam Houston State on Saturday. Baylor, which has posted consecutive 4-8 campaigns under head coach Art Briles, is hoping to end a 15-year bowl drought this season.

Baylor and Buffalo have must just one time previously on the gridiron, with the Bulls notching a 34-21 home victory in ’07.

The Bulls are expected to be a bit more explosive under coach Quinn and they showed that in the opener, racking up 423 total yards in the win over Rhode Island. QB Jerry Davis, entering his first season as a starter, enjoyed a big game with 302 yards and four TDs on 21-of-35 pass attempts. It was a career game for Davis, who in return helped Marcus Rivers set some personal best marks. Rivers, a starter for the first time, came up with 10 catches for 155 yards and a score as Davis’ main target.

Obviously posting a shutout means Buffalo’s defense was terrific, as the unit held Rhode Island to just 207 total yards, including only 62 rushing on 34 attempts. The defense gave up just 13 first downs, while also forcing a pair of turnovers in the team’s first shutout in nine years. Josh Thomas had the most complete game of any player on this side of the ball, as he had one of the team’s five sacks to go with an INT.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III is back and healthy for the Bears and he made his presence felt in the opener, rushing for 59 yards and a score while throwing for 242 yards and two more TDs. One of the top freshman in ’08, Griffin III was limited to just 2 1/2 games last season with a knee injury, but his healthy return now gives hope to this struggling program. The Bears racked up a total of 200 yards on the ground, averaging 8.0 yards per carry, with Jay Finley adding 51 yards and a score on nine totes. It was quite a performance from a team that managed a mere 100.6 rushing ypg in ’09.

Facing an inferior squad, Baylor’s defense dominated as expected, holding SHSU to only 195 yards of total offense. The unit yielded only 88 yards on 39 rushing attempts, while allowing SMSU to convert just 2-of-17 third down chances. A few more big plays would have made it a complete effort, however, as Baylor forced just one turnover to go with two sacks. Tevin Elliott headed the defense with eight tackles, including two for a loss, and sack.

With Griffin back in full form, the Bears are a more dangerous and confident team. Look for the dual-threat QB to have a big night on the ground and through the air in leading Baylor past Buffalo.


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