Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo Prediction, Game Preview

    With its win over Toledo last week and Central Michigan’s loss to the Rockets, Northern Illinois (6-3) controls its own destiny in the MAC race needing to win out to go back to the title game. Buffalo (5-4) comes in red hot on a three game winning streak.

    November 11, 2015


    With its win over Toledo last week and Central Michigan’s loss to the Rockets, Northern Illinois (6-3) controls its own destiny in the MAC race needing to win out to go back to the title game. Buffalo (5-4) comes in red hot on a three game winning streak, but it needs a complete collapse from Bowling Green to potentially take the East. Getting a win and going bowling might be good enough. Check out the Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo game preview and prediction.

    Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11
    Game Time: 8:00 pm
    Venue: ESPNU

    Network: UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY

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    Why Northern Illinois Will Win

    Yeah, Buffalo is on a three game winning streak, but that’s because it played Miami University and Kent State, along with a good win at home over Ohio – it’s a decent team that’s living on being a bum slayer. The offense isn’t working like it’s supposed to over the last two games, mainly because the O is struggling to convert on third downs. Over the last four games, the Bulls are connecting on 19-of-60 third down chances – it’s not going to be able to move the ball on a solid NIU D that’s doing a nice job of getting off the field. It’s not going to give up anything deep.

    Why Buffalo Will Win

    Can the Bulls control the ball and the game? It’s not like NIU has a hurry up offense, but it tries to crank up the pace of the offense and is strong maintaining its tempo. However, it doesn’t own the clock, keeping it for just under 28 minutes a game. UB is the opposite, controlling it for 32 minutes even though it does a lousy job of hitting the third down tries. Outside of the blowout loss to Central Michigan, the defense has kept the team in game after game. It should be able to do it this week, too, especially because …

    Player Who Matters

    Northern Illinois QB Drew Hare is out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon. That means it’s all on freshman Ryan Graham to do this all for real after stepping in and saving the day against Toledo. He hit 9-of-12 throws for 132 yards and a score against the Rockets, and ran ten times for 41 more. But UB has had a week to prepare for him, and has to keep him contained. It’s not a stretch to call the 6-1, 214-pounder the X factor in the MAC season at this point.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Buffalo just doesn’t have the pop. The defense will keep this from getting crazy, especially at home, but NIU will rely on the ground game and a decent all-around performance from Graham to get by and focus on the upcoming showdown with Western Michigan.

    Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo Prediction

    Final Score: Northern Illinois 27, Buffalo 17, Line: Northern Illinois -6.5, o/u: 55.5

    Must See Rating:5: Spectre … 1: The 33 … 2.5

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