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Wisconsin Football Early Opponent Preview: Buffalo Bulls



Wisconsin Football; Badgers safety Kamo'i Latu
Wisconsin safety Kamo'i Latu (13) reacts after tackling Maryland wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (1) on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won the game, 23-10.

We are finally in game week mode for Wisconsin Badgers Football! The Badgers open their 2023 season on Saturday at home against the Buffalo Bulls. Kick off will be at 2:30 CST on FS1.

First year head coach Luke Fickell and the Badgers will open up against Buffalo, a team out of the MAC. The Bulls finished last season 7-6 and a 23-21 win in the Camellia Bowl against Georgia Southern. Here is an early look at the Bulls and what to potentially expect Saturday.

Expect Buffalo to Run the Ball Against the Wisconsin Badgers Football Defense

Wisconsin Badgers Football safety Hunter Wohler interception

Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers safety Hunter Wohler (24) celebrates after making an interception against the Maryland Terrapins during the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

The Bulls only return a total of 376 receiving yards from the 2022 season. However, Buffalo does return their thunder and lightning running back duo.

The thunder of this duo is Mike Washington. Washington rushed for 625 yards and seven touchdowns last season. At 6’2 and 215 pounds, Washington will be the bruiser for the Wisconsin defense, especially in the front seven.

The lightning back will be Ron Cook Jr. Cook is 5’9 and 190 pounds. I would not be surprised if Buffalo uses Cook in a number of different ways against the linebackers and secondary of this Wisconsin Badgers Football defense.

Don’t Sleep on the Quarterback

Despite losing their top receivers from last season, the Bulls do return quarterback Cole Snyder. In 2022, Snyder threw for 3,030 yards, 18 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He also had a completion percentage of 58.8%.

There’s no doubt Snyder will be looking to rebound in his senior season. As one of the leaders and veterans on this team, I’m sure the Buffalo coaching staff will trust Snyder to let loose in passing situations. The Wisconsin Badgers defense will need to get pressure on Snyder and turn the Bulls offense into a one dimensional unit.

The Wisconsin Football Offensive Line Will Have Their Work Cut Out

Wisconsin offensive lineman Riley Mahlman (71) and linebacker Kaden Johnson (52) celebrate after a replay review confirms a Badgers touchdown against Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Mjs Usat Wisconsin Vs Maryland Football 110522 1260 Ttm

There’s a lot of returning players on the Buffalo defense, especially in the front seven. The Bulls also have a new defensive coordinator in Robert Wright. Wright comes from Duke where he previously served as senior defensive analyst.

Why does this impact the offensive line of this Wisconsin Badgers Football team? Football begins with the line of scrimmage. Whoever can dictate the line of scrimmage has a big advantage. I expect a ton of running on Saturday from the Badgers.

If Wisconsin can win the line of scrimmage against an experienced Buffalo team, it will establish early what this offense does well. It can also open up the air raid offense for success early.

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Dylan began as a staff writer for Badger Notes in August 2023. He has written about Wisconsin Badger Football and Men's Basketball since May 2020. Dylan's work has been featured on Yard Barker, NewsBreak, and Bleacher Reports