Football looks to face Buffalo

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons football team will face the Buffalo Bulls Tuesday night as the team looks to carry on momentum from their win last week against the Kent State Golden Flashes.

“We’ve got to continue to make the routine play,” Falcons head coach Mike Jinks said. “We’ve got to continue to be consistent as play callers and realize that everything’s set up by our run game, and even when we get negative run plays that we have to continue to call those plays, and when we do that we’re a better football team.”

The team beat Buffalo 27-19 in the season finale last year, however the team feels that Buffalo will be a very different team this time around.

“Buffalo’s a much improved football team,” Jinks said. “(Head coach) Lance Leipold is in his third year now with the program, and you can tell when not just looking at their roster, but in the way that they execute their schemes, they know who they want to be from an offensive standpoint and from a defensive standpoint, as well.”

The team is putting a particular focus on Buffalo-scheduled starting quarterback Tyree Jackson, who they feel could make a big impact if not accounted for.

“He’s probably the most athletic quarterback in our conference from a skill set standpoint,” Jinks said. “He’s been hampered by that knee a little bit. He didn’t really get out of the pocket too much in last week’s ball game and really, what’s scary about him is how they used him early in the season with the quarterback run game. They didn’t do it last week, but we’ve got to be prepared for it, but it’s a unique dynamic that he brings to the table, and it’s going to be a formidable test.”

Also, in last week’s game against Kent State, the team was able to take away some positive things for this week, as well as some flaws to improve on.

“We’ve made explosive plays in all three phases, and that’s always important,” Jinks said. “Starting with the secondary on the back end, those guys attack the ball. Now, we’ve got to really be smarter, and I want them to be aggressive. I want them to play the ball, but we’ve got to understand situations. On third and long a couple times, we’ve given them cheap penalties. We gave them 30 yards on the two drives. Those are self-inflicted wounds, those are things that we can control.”

However, the team is looking forward to this week’s upcoming challenge.

“I’m excited about it, because we’re going to see where we are,” Jinks said. “We’re going to see how much improvement we’ve had on defense. We’ve played better throughout MAC play, and they’re going to test us. They’re going to test us from a schematics standpoint, they’re going to test us from a skill standpoint.”

Although the team stands at a 2-3 record in the MAC going into Tuesday’s game, the team is still continuing to play with passion.

“They’re passionate about this team, and that’s what’s so gut-wrenching about going through what we’re going through,” Jinks said. “We’ve got to get it going, and we’ve got to get back at an elite level once again.”