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[2023] Week 13 Preview - TNF

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Match-Up: UMASS (1-8) at Buffalo (4-5)

 

The Minutemen, lead by Coach @TBoostR travel into Buffalo to take on the Bulls coached by @Jordan. The Bulls are lead by QB Levi Thompson, who's actually good? He's squarely in the top half of QBs in the MAC, potentially the Top Quarter. RB Alec Self is the 4th leading RB in teh Conference, and is tied for 3rd most TDs on the ground. He hasn't been great every game, but when he's on, this offense is hard to stop. The Bulls have had a 4-Headed Monster at WR, in terms that they've all been pretty good. None have been elite, but they are super reliable, with just 1 Drop combined on the season. Defensively, UMASS has had their fair share of issues. They give up over 30 Points/Game, with 342 Yards/Game (218 Passing, 124 Rushing). With Buffalo's offense taking off and becoming more balanced, UMASS looks a little overmatched right now. The Minutemen are lead by ILB Carter Shell, who leads the team with 30 Tackles. CB Major Coles leads the team with 4 Picks, while OLB Brian Clements-Braswell is the team leader with 4 Sacks. This defense just lacks the talent to stick with Buffalo for a whole game. The Offense for UMASS has not been much better, they average 22 Points/Game and gain 282 Yards/GAme (188 Passing, 94 Rushing). QB E.R. Coleman has not been very good, completing under 57% of his passes, with 9 TDs and 7 Picks. RB Lavonte Gilliam has been the main guy on the ground, he's rushed for 623 Yards with 8 TDs on 4.36 YPC. Certainly not terrible, but he will not carry this team to a win. WR Daniel Ramirez has been the clear best player on the offense, with 558 Yards and 4 TDs. He's the big play guy for the Minutemen, and will be primarily matched up with Laquon Boston. The Bulls Defense has been solid, but not great. They struggle to get pressure on the QB, but have good coverage players. You can throw on Buffalo, but you have to have a deep WR Corps to do it successfully. You can run on them as well, but the Bulls haven't played a ton of great rushing teams. They've been lead by OLB Alexander Moffett, who has 36 Tackles, 2TFL, and 6 PD. He is great in coverage, so your TE is usually locked down. CB Laquon Boston has 5 Picks and 5 PD on the season. He can be a lockdown Corner who also takes the ball the other way. The DL for Buffalo is certainly their weakpoint, and that's where you have to make your money on offense. I just don't think UMASS can hang with Buffalo.

 

My Prediction: Buffalo 31 UMASS 17

 

Match-Up: Northern Illinois (2-7) at Eastern Michigan (2-7)

 

The Coachless Huskies travel to Ypsi to take on the coachless Eagles. Both of these teams are already eliminated from Bowl Eligibility, so this game is to try and not be last in the Division. I'm not going to spend a ton of time on this game. Both Quarterbacks have struggled, with different levels of usage. Emmett Mast for NIU has thrown the most amount of passes in the conference, and is among the worst in Completion %. Robert Frazier is middle of the pack for attempts, but is right on par with Mast in Completion %. When Frazier protects the ball, they play very well. RB Tyler Pearson for Eastern is one of my favorite players in the conference. I don't think NIU can hold him down for an entire game. Khalil Eubanks for the Huskies has been very bad. He's got a 3.58 YPC and has just 1 TD in 9 Games. He's not a factor at all. The Eagles Receivers have been a little more reliable, with 12 TD Catches and 5 Drops. The Huskies Receivers have 16 TD Receptions and 20 Drops. The Key Player for the Eagles on Defense is SS Ibrahima Griggs. If he allows the Huskies to get behind him, it will be a long day for the Eagles Defense. But, if Griggs can step up and create some big plays, the Eagles can get the ball back to Tyler Pearson on offense. The Key Player for the Huskies is ILB Oliver McNeal. McNeal is among the best defenders in the Conference. He has a very tough job, as he gets to tackle Tyler Pearson over and over again. If McNeal doesn't play well and Pearson can get into the secondary, Eastern will feast.

 

My Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27 Northern Illinois 21

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