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BSD Prediction Roundtable: Buffalo

The staff looks into their crystal ball for results against the Bulls.

NCAA Football: Dollar General Bowl-Buffalo vs Troy John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


It was difficult to learn anything too meaningful from the game last week. We should start to figure out a few things against Buffalo. Sean Clifford took a couple series to work out the nerves and Ricky Slade did not get a lot to do to start the game, so it will be nice if they can get things clicking right away this week. The Nittany Lion defense didn’t have to overly exert themselves to start the season, as Idaho was overmatched across the field, but the Bulls should offer a step up in competition and allow them the flex their muscles a little more. Otherwise, this game will be another great opportunity to get the backups more live action, that should pay dividends later in the year.

Penn State 62, Buffalo 10


Lance Leipold is better than Paul Petrino and the MAC is a much bigger step up from a bad FCS team, particularly a good MAC team. Despite that, I don’t think this one is very close for very long. Vegas opened this one at PSU -26.5. I think the Nittany Lions cover, but it takes a little longer to pull away than it did last weekend and the second and third team offenses won’t be scoring at will.

Penn State 41, Buffalo 13


Lance Leipold is a good football coach and last year at this time this game looking a little worrisome. However, in the off-season the Bulls lost five all-conference players to the transfer portal and quarterback Tyree Jackson decided to go pro. As a result, the Bulls have been pretty gutted.

Buffalo is still a much better team than Idaho and could present some rough patches along the way Saturday. Ultimately, Penn State is far too talented and wins a blowout. Watching Sean Clifford progression in the RPO game and I’m getting comfortable with his receivers will be worth keeping an eye on Saturday night. I will also be watching to see if Penn State starts to work toward a more consistent offensive line pairing(s).

Penn State 45, Buffalo 14


As has been said, Buffalo is better than Idaho, but are still not in the same league as Penn State. Especially with key player losses from last season, I just don’t see a way for the Bulls to hang with Penn State for more than a quarter of play.

Penn State 49, Buffalo 10


Saying that Buffalo will present a bigger challenge this week compared to Idaho is like saying that Von Kaiser will present a bigger challenge than Glass Joe in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Both are factually correct, much like Von Kaiser though, Buffalo has only one or two redeeming qualities at best (with the rest having entered the transfer portal or the NFL) which are their running backs and veteran offensive line. Even with a pair of decent rushers, it’s hard to see Buffalo’s offense getting much against this PSU D. Oh, and have we mentioned enough times this week how Buffalo has a true freshman starting at QB who is making his first road start in a night game at the Beav? I *almost* feel sorry for the kid. Almost.

Penn State 52, Buffalo 7


The idea of Buffalo is pretty interesting. They won the MAC East last season, won 10 games along the way, and looked good doing it. As my peers already mentioned, Leipold is a good coach, and he’s more than shown it in his career. All that said, Buffalo 2019 is decidedly not Buffalo 2018, and if last week is any indication, the concern over the offense may have been a little bit overblown. Lions cruise.

Penn State 56, Buffalo 17


(originally appearing on PennLive)

OVERVIEW: Last week’s blowout of Idaho didn’t get the respect it deserved - how many Penn State teams in the past wouldn’t have put up the gaudy numbers that the 2019 squad’s second and third string were able to amass? This week doesn’t get much tougher, even if on paper Buffalo brings a lot more to the table - they’ve lost most of their key components from last year’s ten win squad, and are starting a true freshman. Against this defense, under the lights in Beaver Stadium, that’s a tall task for even a veteran. This one could get out of hand pretty quickly.

PLAYER(S) ON THE SPOT: Sean Clifford. The signal caller had a slow start last week, having to force himself to calm down after the first two possessions stalled out into field goals. Calm down he did, of course, but the jitters have got to go if he wants to prove he’s got what it takes to take care of the meat of the Nittany Lion schedule come October. This week will go a long way towards assuaging whatever fears linger after last week.

DON’T BE SURPRISED IF … Clifford and the rest of the first string offense don’t see the field in the fourth quarter again. And the defense is close to a shutout, having been denied by special teams miscues the first week of the year.

THE PICK: PSU likely won’t get quite as good field position this week as they started with last, but I’m not sure they need it. The Lions’ defense will be roaring and terrifying, and the stable of running backs and talented receivers will light up the scoreboard.

Penn State 59, Buffalo 9


(originally appearing in the Game Preview)

Buffalo is coming off an impressive season, and had they appeared on the schedule in 2018, they would have given the Nittany Lions all they could handle. But this Bulls team is quite different after an offseason of heavy attrition to graduation, chasing NFL dreams, and the transfer portal. Buffalo will now be relying on several young players, including a freshman quarterback, in their first road game of the season- which happens to be a night game in Beaver Stadium. It will be an awful lot to overcome in their bid for an upset.

Buffalo is a much more talented team than Idaho, but Penn State should have no problem overwhelming them with a ferocious defense, and a developing yet explosive offense that should be able to produce enough big plays for a comfortable win.

Yetur Gross-Matos adds another pair of sacks, with fellow Wild Dog Shaka Toney using his lethal first step to pick up two sacks himself. Cam Brown shakes off the rust with a team-high eight tackles, and Garrett Taylor picks off his first pass of the season.

Sean Clifford continues to take command of the offense, throwing three touchdown passes- one to Justin Shorter for the first of his Penn State career. The Nittany Lions backfield has another strong day from top to bottom, and Ricky Slade and Devyn Ford each break off long touchdown runs. Penn State rolls again.

Penn State 49, Buffalo 7