Patrick Towles: For the most part I thought he looked pretty good yesterday. His sinister side did show twice (see below), but I thought he did a great job getting the ball into some tight spaces, all of this while playing in some terrible weather. Decent patience in the pocket, a lot less of the panic running we have seen in other games.
Harold Landry: It just seemed like every time Buffalo’s quarterback Tyree Jackson went back to pass, Landry was back there with him. Landry ended the game with a sack (he’s still 4th in the country) and a forced fumble. Let’s see what he can do against a Clemson offensive line next week, should be interesting to watch.
Isaac Yiadom: Buffalo was unable to move the ball at all through the air, and Yiadom was a big reason why. He had three pass break ups, none better than one he made in the first half when he came back on a pass and broke up a well timed pass. He looked legit out there.
Defensive Dominance: It’s kind of unfair just to pick out Landry and Yiadom, when this unit just completely stifled Buffalo all game. Ray Smith had a big game at defensive tackle, Connor Strachan had a fumble recovery, and John Johnson made a series of good plays. Excellent execution by this entire unit, and great game plan by Jim Reid. But as you will hear all week, Clemson is coming, and this unit is going to be tested big time on Friday.
Tatrick Powles: This is bad Patrick Towles, the one that throws bad interceptions against UMass, and gets strip sacked twice against Buffalo. Some of the blame can certainly be put on the offensive line play, but he’s a graduate student, he should either feel the pressure coming or have that timer in his head telling him to throw the ball away. Those fumbles really didn’t hurt BC, but again Clemson is coming, and they have a fantastic defensive line that is going to test the BC offensive line, Towles has got to improve on this or it’s going to be a long night on Friday.
Offensive Line Play: Going into this game Buffalo was almost DFL in the league in running defense. BC’s offensive line made them look stout. BC’s running game was completely ineffective again (which I’ll address later), but the line did them no favors. They were very inconsistent, which may be the best we can hope for against Clemson.
Running Game: Not sure what is going on with Jon Hilliman, but he does not look like the running back we saw in 2014. He doesn’t look explosive at all, he goes down on the initial hit, and more often than not he’s wrapped up in the backfield. At this point he is more of a liability than an asset on offense. Davon Jones, though the announcers were crowing about him, didn’t do much better. I know some of this is on the offensive line, but the running backs in general couldn’t get anything going today.
Mistakes: Again BC made a ton of preventable mistakes that took away big plays. There were at least two Tyler Rouse punt returns negated for illegal blocks in the back (one wasn’t anywhere near the play). There were two drops by Jeff Smith (yes it was pouring, but those were right in his grips) and those two strip sacks of Patrick Towles.
Chris Garrison’s Injury: Brutal, brutal injury for a redshirt freshman wide receiver who saw his first year cut down in 2015. Don’t know what the injury was, but it looked bad as they had to stablize his leg and take him off on a cart. Best wishes to Chris, and prayers for a speedy recovery.