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First Look: Baylor Bears vs. Buffalo Bulls

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What a time to be alive! The Baylor Bears are back in the AP Poll after trouncing Wofford this past weekend and after a long holiday, we're only 4 days out from football again. Time to zero in on the Bulls of Buffalo.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

vs.
23/RV BAYLOR (1-0) vs. NR/NR BUFFALO (0-1)
Sept. 7, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)

TV: FSN
Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game NotesNotes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central

Opponent: Buffalo Bulls (MAC)
Official Website: BuffaloBulls.com (Pretty snazzy, actually. Looks a lot like our own.)
2013 Roster: Here Game Notes: Here (opens as a .pdf)
Last Meeting (between the teams) : Baylor 34, Buffalo 6 (RGIII's second game back from surgery)
Last Game: 40-20 loss to #2 Ohio State; SB Nation Recap (w/ a pretty awesome .gif)
SBNation Blog: Bull Run (Check out their StoryStream for UB vs. BU, oh the symmetry)
Buffalo Bulls vs Baylor Bears Game Page (it'll work before this weekend, I imagine)

SB Nation Preview: Extension and Experience

Every Baylor opponent from here out has been previewed by Bill Connelly as part of his FBS series. Treat those previews like the Holy Writ when it comes to the teams we play. They are outstanding. From this week's, I have lifted the following:

2013 Schedule & Projection Factors

2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Proj. Rk
31-Aug at Ohio State 10
7-Sep at Baylor 36
14-Sep Stony Brook NR
28-Sep Connecticut 58
5-Oct Eastern Michigan 118
12-Oct at Western Michigan 93
19-Oct Massachusetts 124
26-Oct at Kent State 80
5-Nov Ohio 83
12-Nov at Toledo 62
19-Nov at Miami (Ohio) 106
29-Nov Bowling Green 67
Five-Year F/+ Rk 97
Two-Year Recruiting Rk 123
TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin* -6 / +1.4
TO Luck/Game -3.1
Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.) 16 (9, 7)
Yds/Pt Margin** +4.9

I think the yellow means it's mad at me for cutting and pasting.

Coming off a relatively close loss, all things considered, to the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes, Buffalo is riding a bit higher now than they probably expected, the defense having acquitted itself decently well against tOSU's Heisman hopeful in Braxton Miller. The offense was another story completely, as 7 of Buffalo's 20 points came on Khalil Mack's interception return and the entire team combined for just 258 yards, 185 of which came through the air.

The one player whose name you absolutely must know is the aforementioned Khalil Mack, Buffalo's starter at OLB. He's a phenomenal player you've probably never heard of (because he plays at Buffalo). Last week, against Ohio State, he had 2.5 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown. Against Ohio State. When they knew the only player they probably had to stop was Khalil Mack.

I won't bother posting Buffalo's 2013 stats because they've played one game and I already gave you most of what you need to know. Instead, I'll refer you to Bill Connelly's preview, linked above, for the pertinent information. The only real change from that to now is the ascension of sophomore Joe Licata to starting QB over senior Alex Zordich. They run a hurry-up, no-huddle offense, so we have to be ready for that.

According to Bill C's preview, Buffalo brings back 3/5 starters on the OL, having lost their right guard and tackle, and most, if not all, of their skill position players. Zordich came back at QB but has now been passed up by Licata. Their offense, though not explosive in the typical fashion, is fairly experienced and probably won't beat itself. Their defense is much the same way; though they lost their starting NG, almost the entire rest of the defense returned this season, led once again by Mr. Mack. I call him Mr. Mack because he deserves it.

The best I can find as far as video comes from Ohio State fans making highlights out of last week's game. If you want, you can watch the entire Buffalo vs. Ohio State game from Youtube. I'll look as we go through the week for more. Until then, enjoy!

That's pretty much it for now. This week's game will be on FSN, just like last week's, with the dulcet tones of Mark Followill guiding us through the action. It's a 2:30 start, and the weather, as of this moment, looks pretty good.