Key players: Buffalo QB Jerry Davis, NIU C Scott Wedige

By Chris Dertz

NIU Key Player: Center Scott Wedige

Buffalo plays a defensive scheme similar to the one NIU saw against Temple. There is one key difference.

“[The Bulls] are going to blitz you somewhere, someplace on every snap,” said NIU head coach Jerry Kill. “They’re very aggressive.”

It’s going to fall on starting center Scott Wedige to shift the assignments and protections along the offensive line to minimize the pressure on NIU’s backfield players.

While Buffalo is only averaging two sacks per game, the Bulls are a team that is predicated more on forcing the issue at the line and pressuring NIU’s backfield into making hasty decisions.

“If we communicate every play, and I just delegate what to do, it makes it a lot easier,” Wedige said. “Hopefully we get it done for the guys in the backfield.”

Wedige has led an offensive line unit for NIU that has only allowed seven sacks in the Huskies’ six games. A large part of this is due to the NIU quarterbacks’ ability to scramble, but the offensive line has played well under Wedige thus far.


Buffalo Key Player: Quarterback Jerry Davis

NIU’s banged-up secondary is going to have its work cut out for it Saturday against the Bulls.

Buffalo’s offensive system is entirely predicated on the spread offense. With Huskie safety Tracy Wilson still unable to play, it will fall on the rest of the secondary to shut down Buffalo QB Jerry Davis’ dual-threat attack.

While Davis has the ability to throw the long ball as well as tuck it in and run – he has 11 touchdown passes and 59 rushing attempts – Kill expects him to move it through the air.

This is especially true considering Buffalo’s no-huddle attack has produced a lot of offense this season.

“You’re going to see a spread offense and a very aggressive throwing game,” Kill said. “They’re going to get 90 snaps. When you play 90 snaps, it’s difficult. If you keep somebody out there for a while, they get worn out and that’s when big plays happen.”

It’s those big plays that Davis has been making, as he’s averaging over 224 passing yards per game and has totaled 1,123 on the season.

The area where Davis has struggled, however, is his accuracy. Only completing 48.4 percent of his attempts, Davis will need to be accurate for Buffalo to have success.