I almost took Northern Illinois a week ago against Kent State, but the weather held me back as they were a big favorite. They nearly covered anyway, but the under was my play and it was an easy winner. Northern Illinois defense was on the field for just 60 plays compared to Buffalo's defense for 99 plays in their 7 OT loss to Western Michigan. Teams playing the week after an OT game never a great play and we will be fading that with a team we have liked in back to back weeks.
Northern Illinois thoroughly out played San Diego State #19 on the road, but turned the ball over countless times. This week they travel on the road again, but they are playing a very bad defense in Buffalo. Northern Illinois has shuffled QB's and this week they have all 3 healthy. I expect to see a mix as last week they went to Childers in the rain to help the running game since he is more athletic. That is a sign of a good head coach that is not worried about hurting his player's feelings by putting his guys in the best spot to win. Northern Illinois who is very much a run first team will go up against Buffalo who is ranked #118 in yards allowed on the ground and #86 in yards per carry. Western Michigan just wore them out last week allowing 376 yards on the ground. Northern Illinois should move the ball just fine here. After all this is a team that has played some tough defenses already and they had 429 yards on the road at San Diego State a top 30 defense in the country.
Buffalo offensively looks like a beast after last weeks 68 points, but they scored just 31 in regulation and did not score in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Very inconsistent and Western Michigan is not very good on defense so far this year ranking #99. Buffalo has only played 1 team in the top 88 in yards per play allowed and they put up 7 points in that game against Minnesota ranked #27. Northern Illinois comes into this game ranked #3, and they are just as strong vs. the pass allowing 51% completions, 4.9 yards per attempt, they are top 10 in opposing QB rating, and 20th in sack rate. They have allowed just 4 TD's and 9 interceptions and have been great in the red zone. Buffalo's Drew Anderson just went against #90, and #93 passing defenses this and he struggled vs. #93. He came alive against a tired Western Michigan defense, but I don't expect much for a backup QB against a top ranked defense that has dominated this series going 9-0 beating Buffalo by an average of 29 points.
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