Ohio’s Tettleton, Brazill to pose major MAC test for Bulls
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 05, 2011 @ 8:00am
Hopefully facing Tennessee’s Tyler Bray last week was good practice for Ohio’s QB Tyler Tettleton this Saturday. Two problems emerge, though: 1) the University at Buffalo Bulls couldn’t slow Bray as the Vols clobbered the Bulls by 31, and 2) the 5’11, 198 pound dual threat Tettleton is a much different beast than the 6’6, 210 pound Tennessee pocket passer.
The Ohio Bobcats’ quarterback, who red-shirted in 2010 after playing sparingly against the Bulls as a true freshman (when he did score on a nine yard run) in ‘09, is flying high after winning his second MAC East Offensive Player of the Week award of the young season. He’s already second in Ohio’s school history for ‘passing yards as a sophomore’ with 1192 yards, 12 touchdowns and only one interception.
Buffalo hosts the Bobcats at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at UB Stadium. Single game tickets can be purchased here. The game will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
Top target LaVon Brazill returns from a medical red-shirt, and his 24 catches, 332 yards and five touchdowns through five games should strike fear into the Bulls’ secondary. Receiving threats Riley Dunlop, Jordan Thompson, and Phil Bates join solid running back Ryan Boykin in the MAC’s second-ranked team in total offense.
For Buffalo, it’s been a painful three game skid. Sure, running back Branden Oliver’s stats—100 yards per game and five total touchdowns—paint him as a breakout star, but if you subtract the game against FCS school Stony Brook, he’s a pedestrian 103 carries for 374 yards (3.63 YPC) and two touchdowns. He’s definitely an improved runner compared to last year’s touchdown-less campaign, but how just how much better is he? The first home conference game will certainly tell.
If there are two bright spots for Buffalo, it’s defenders Khalil Mack and Najja Johnson. Mack leads the MAC in tackles for loss with 9.5, while Johnson paces the pack with eight passes defensed. Pressure will be on Mack to rattle Tettleton while Johnson locks down Brazill—two match-ups to keep an eye on Saturday.
There’s been plenty of talk this week about a “new season,” Buffalo’s fresh slate against conference foes that are simply not as good man-for-man as FBS schools Pittsburgh, UConn or Tennessee. The Bulls are probably a much more competent team than their 1-4 record indicates. Still, now is the time to add to the win column—there are no excuses in conference play.