BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – UB has a chance to claim the top spot in the MAC East this Saturday when undefeated Kent State comes to town. Both teams are tied for first in the division and undefeated on the year, and with only three games left in the regular season, a win is almost necessary for either team to have a chance at a MAC Championship.
Kent State brings the nation’s number one offense in scoring (52.7 points per game) and total offense (616 yards per game, according to ESPN.)
Buffalo’s defense ranks 16th in the nation in points allowed. Head coach Lance Leipold spoke about his defense, especially the secondary.
“It’s a whole defensive challenge,” Leipold said. “Obviously a lot of that gets put on the secondary. A lot of different concepts, they spread you out, they go fast, that’s the whole premise, try to get as many plays as they can.”
Kent State QB Dustin Crum could provide a major problem to the Bulls. He averages 279 yards per game through the air, and has nine touchdowns to just one interception in the first three games.
“[Dustin] has played extremely well these last few years, has great command of the offense, he’s a running threat, he’s very accurate,” Leipold said. “So within any zone read game he’s a threat to keep it. They’re going to spread you out, create passing lanes, they’ve got big tall receivers.”
Perhaps the biggest thing is their ability to play fast. Leipold and the Bulls also like to play fast, and he said that’ a big key to Saturday’s game.
“Starting fast is important, you try to gain momentum, we talk about it all the time, there’s a lot of things as we approach kickoff we’ll take a look at whether its wind conditions or weather, things like that,” Leipold said. “But against a team like Kent thats a big part of their philosophy of starting fast and start fast and end faster type of thing is they’re just going to keep going and going and trying to maintain, momentum will be a big part of this.”
Leipold knows the opposing coach Sean Lewis, and said this team will play at a quick pace.
“They’re going to be aggressive and they’re going to try to gain possessions in different ways and you better be ready to play sixty-plus minutes of football and as many snaps that can be had in those 60 minutes as possible if you want a chance to beat them,” Leipold said.
This game kicks off at noon on Saturday.