Meyer, Buckeyes host Buffalo

COLUMBUS – Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn recognizes that his team is a heavy underdog today against Ohio State. But that doesn’t mean that he expects his Bulls to do anything other than play their hearts out.

“We want to be that team that goes out there and can play a complete game, four quarters, 60 minutes, and let the rest of it take care of itself,” he said. “I don’t think we try to get too far ahead of ourselves. We know we’re playing one of the best football teams in the country.”

Buffalo went 4-8 a year ago, but won three of its last four after Joe Licata took over at QB.

He was asked how you convince players that they can compete against a team that, at least on paper, is far more talented.

“Our kids are going to line up and they’re going to play. They know who they are. And I know who they are. We have better leadership,” he said. “These are young men who have played against Tennessee and Georgia and Baylor. These are young men who have grown in our program. They’re going to go out there and compete. This is a very confident group of young men. We know we’re going to be challenged because of the matchups, but certainly our kids are going to compete at the highest level for four quarters.”

Quinn used the phrase “block it out and lock it in” to describe how a team can play well in a difficult environment like Ohio Stadium.

“We have to be able to control the line of scrimmage. We have to slow down (QB) Braxton (Miller),” he said. “We’ve got a plan for all these things. And then we’ll allow our kids to go out there and compete and block it out and lock it in. They’ve been hearing (that) ever since I’ve been the head coach here. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge for our kids and I know our coaches and I know I am excited and I know our kids are going to be excited to go down to that type of environment to see how we handle it.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: WR Corey “Philly” Brown on motivation for the Buckeyes: “Basically, we haven’t really done nothing yet. We were undefeated last year but we didn’t win anything. The people on this team who still are here kind of got a taste of what it feels like to go undefeated and really not be able to play for nothing. Now that we know that we have something to play for this year, it’s made everybody hungrier and everybody wants to do it again.”

SCOUTING REPORT: Buffalo is opening its 100th season of varsity football … Ohio State, at No. 2, is the highest-ranked team the Bulls have played since No. 2 Auburn in 2006, a 38-7 loss. … RB Branden Oliver needs 626 yards to become UB’s career rushing leader. That mark is held by current Green Bay Packer James Starks. … LB Khalil Mack enters his senior season with 11 forced fumbles, three shy of the record, and he’s 19 tackles for a loss behind the NCAA record. … The Bulls are 0-4 all-time against teams from the Big Ten – although they did not off Penn State in 1900, long before there was a Big Ten and even longer before the Nittany Lions were members. … Ohio Stadium (102,329) will be the third largest stadium Buffalo will have ever played in behind Beaver Stadium (107,282) and Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium (102,455). … The Bulls are looking to open the season with a road win for just the second time since 1980. The last opening win was against UTEP in 2009.

ODD D: Buffalo plays a different configuration on defense than most teams, which may cause some problems for the Buckeyes.

“They play a very unorthodox defense. It’s called 54-I, an inversion of the 3-4 and they play their defensive tackles inside our tackle which is just screws up all our blocking schemes,” Meyer said. “They also play a really unique coverage called 2 invert, which we have not seen in a couple years. Good thing is we have been working on this for a while but it’s a pain in the butt.”