Good news for Bulls before Toledo clash
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 25, 2012 @ 9:30am
An injury-plagued roster should no longer be an excuse for the UB Bulls, who sit at 1-6 heading into the five-game conclusion to the Mid-American Conference schedule.
According to the Buffalo News, star running back Branden Oliver, top wide receiver Alex Neutz and valuable second wide-out Fred Lee are all expected to suit up at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at UB Stadium against high-powered Toledo. All three are listed as probable, while safety Witney Sherry and fullback Boomer Brock are unlikely to be in uniform.
While true freshman Devin Campbell, rising Devon Hughes and former scout team wide receiver John Dunmore stepped in admirably, there’s no replacing the presence of Oliver, Neutz and Lee—who, in the preseason, were counted on to be the three staples of Jeff Quinn’s offense.
Oliver’s Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament (knee) has sidelined him for just over a month—since the second half of the narrow loss to Kent State. He could have entered the Pittsburgh game if it was a more desperate conference tilt, but Quinn chose the cautious approach in returning his star to the field. Don’t expect Oliver to be limited against Toledo, even if he may concede a handful of carries to Campbell.
The scorching Toledo Rockets (7-1 overall, 4-0 in the MAC) stand 34th in the nation in points per game (35.5 PPG), and their potent offense is directed by dual-threat QB Terrance Owens and Lockport native David Fluellen, one of the most explosive backs in Western New York high school football history. Only 47 yards from 1,000 for the season, Fluellen averages a hair short of six yards per carry and already owns nine touchdowns.
The Rockets knocked off Jeff Quinn’s former school, No. 21 Cincinnati, 29-23 last weekend and have swept all the directional Michigan schools in the MAC—Central, Eastern and Western. Toledo’s lone MAC East Division win came against Bowling Green, however, so it’s unclear how Matt Campbell’s team stacks up against Ohio and Northern Illinois (two teams that manage to dodge on the 2012 schedule). Toledo enters Saturday’s contest as nine-point favorites.
(Header photo of UB wide receiver Devon Hughes and photo of UB fans courtesy of Don Nieman—see the full Pitt gallery here).