The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Buffalo Bulls.
No. 88: Buffalo Bulls
Spring Practice Starts: March 4
Spring Game: April 13
Buffalo Bulls Spring Status
There are a whole lot of reasons to be fired up – and not just because the hoops team knocked Arizona out of the NCAA Tournament, before getting tagged by Kentucky.
The Bulls went 6-6 last season, closing out with a three-game winning streak. However, after being snubbed by the bowl world, this year should be different.
Eight starters return on offense, starting with next-big-thing QB Tyree Jackson, and seven starters are back on defense. LB Khalil Hodge might be the best defensive player you haven’t seen, leading a group that should be among the best in the MAC.
Buffalo Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Safety. It’s the one key area of concern in terms of experience, losing mainstays Ryan Williamson and Tim Roberts. The Bulls have a good prospect in Dev Lamour, who was knocked out after just three games, and sophomore Kobe Green, who goes from being a top special teamer to one of the main options. JUCO transfer Joey Banks will be a big factor, too.
Buffalo Biggest Issue
Getting into the backfield. Even with the strong year defensively, the Bulls only managed just 19 sacks and 53 tackle for loss. The production picked up late in the year, but for way too many games, UB couldn’t do much of anything behind the line.
The last time the D came up with a big season from the pass rush? 2013, with Khalil Mack leading the way for a defensive front that generated 38 sacks.
Buffalo Biggest Positive
The passing game should be stellar. With four of the top five targets back, get ready for a whole lot of deep balls and close to 4,000 receiving yards.
Jackson is a big 6-7 bomber who got banged up last year and wasn’t quite right until late. He’s back, and he’s got a loaded receiving corps to work with. Anthony Johnson came up with 76 catches last season, and K.J. Osborn turned into a nice running mate with 35 grabs.
Really, Why Are The Buffalo Bulls Ranked Here?
There’s no reason not to shoot for the MAC title – or at least a bowl game. This is one of the league’s most experienced teams, with depth, talent, and the work put in to get the program to this point. As long as Jackson can stay healthy, look out.