After years of being on every major college’s homecoming wish list, the Buffalo Bulls find themselves in pre-season discussions of potential MAC champions for 2008. The Bulls are a team with enough returning offensive firepower to make any opponent nervous. And Week-1 of the 2008 college football season starts off with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Miners of Conference-USA visiting Buffalo Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y. for a season opening game with the Bulls.
Online oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com have installed the Bulls the favorite against the spread by a -3 point chalk and -155 on the money line. The posted total is holding at 58.5. UTEP is getting +135 on the money line as the road underdog.
Buffalo returns 18 starters from a team that finished 5-7 in 2007 and tied for the MAC East Division championship. Leading the starters is quarterback Drew Willy who returns as a four-year starting quarterback.
The Miners also return a veteran club bringing back 15 starters from 2007. UTEP has five returning starters on offense, eight on defense and both kickers back. Returning starters on offense are sophomore quarterback Trevor Vittatoe (3,101 yards passing in `07), junior wide receiver Jeff Moturi (891 yards and 13 TD catches).
In five home games last year, Buffalo posted a 3-2 record with wins over Ohio, Toledo and Akron and losses to Baylor and Bowling Green State.
The Miners have won their last two season openers away from El Paso, recording a 34-17 triumph at New Mexico State in 2005 and a 34-27 victory at San Diego State in 2006. UTEP is 3-1 in season openers under head coach Mike Price, including three straight wins following a 41-9 setback at Arizona State to christen the 2004 campaign.
Look for both squads to put up some big numbers offensively. It will be interesting to see how high the scoring goes, especially with the new NCAA clock rules in effect. Regardless, the game total could soar above 70.
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