Breakdown: Buffalo’s offense

By Eli Gehn

Quarterback Grade: C-

Running the Buffalo offense is senior quarterback Chazz Anderson.

Anderson is having a sub-par season so far with five passing touchdowns and four interceptions.

With 1,308 yards passing this year, the Pickerington, Ohio native ranks seventh out of all quarterbacks in the MAC.

Anderson had his best game of the year two weeks ago in a 38-37 win over the Ohio Bobcats with 343 yards through the air and two touchdowns.

Anderson’s struggles could bode well for NIU’s defense, which appears to be back on track.

“Everybody’s clicking,” said Huskies’ safety Demetrius Stone. “It starts with the defensive line. They get a lot of pressure. Then, going to the linebackers and DBs, everyone’s just doing their job.”

Running Back Grade: B

The man that fuels the Bulls’ offense is starting running back Branden Oliver.

The sophomore is second in the MAC in rushing yards with 741 and averages just over four yards per carry along with eight touchdowns.

Oliver has very limited help behind him as running backs Anthone Taylor and Jeffvon Gill have a combined nine carries for 37 yards.

If the Huskies can hold Oliver in check, it’ll make Buffalo a one-dimensional team forcing Anderson to make the throws to beat the NIU’s secondary.

Wide Receivers Grade: C-

The Bulls have a steady balance at receiver this year with Marcus Rivers and Alex Neutz leading the way.

Rivers and Neutz have 34 and 30 receptions, respectively.

If the NIU secondary was able to keep the Western Michigan receivers from breaking out big plays, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to do the same against the Bulls.

Offensive Line Grade: B

The men in the trenches have led the way for Oliver to his breakout this season.

The beef? The Bulls’ offensive line consists of Matt Ostrowski, Dillon Guy, Andre Davis, Graham Whinery and Gokhan Ozkan.

Together, these five have an average weight of 315 pounds and have been responsible for the success in the running game.

The Huskies defensive line has faced big lineman before, so this will likely be nothing new for them.

“Up front, we put pressure on ourselves to make an impact on the game,” said NIU defensive tackle Anthony Wells. “Lately – the last two games – we’ve been doing that; we just need to keep that up. It has a lot to do with us young guys, who haven’t had a lot of game experience, getting more comfortable with the system: trusting ourselves and having confidence.”