Bengals eye first win over Alfred since ’99

Anthony Reyes, Opinion Editor

The Buffalo State Football team kicked their season off with a big win against Otterbein University, but they’ll be returning from their bye-week on Saturday hoping for an even bigger victory over Alfred University.

Buffalo State had its first meeting against Alfred in 1981; its all-time record is 7 wins and 8 losses versus the Saxons. But, the Bengals have lost their last three matchups against Alfred, and haven’t beaten them in nearly 20 years. Their last victory over Alfred was in 1995.

The two teams have met each of the last three seasons, all resulting in Alfred wins.

Now, they’ll meet on Saturday in Alfred. The Saxons are 2-0 with two wins over non-conference opponents, posting a 39-25 win over Husson University and a 32-20 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Bengals are 1-0, also with a 29-0 win over a non-conference opponent Otterbein University.

“We’ve got to handle the bye-week in the right fashion,” Buffalo State head coach Jerry Boyes said. “Not to lose any of that start of the momentum of a season opener. But, there is nothing you can do about that. We have to have a good week, prepare as well as we can, and then get back into the swing of things for game week.”

The matchup looks to be a battle between two strong ground games. In the two games the Saxons have played, they gained a combined 453 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. In Bengals’ win over Otterbein, they were able to gain 369 yards on the ground and score four touchdowns.

Neither team has had over 170 yards passing in either game, so if it turns out to be a battle on the ground, it should be in the Bengals favor as they only allowed 35 yards rushing, while the Saxons allowed a combined 279 yards rushing in their two games.

Buffalo State’s upper-hand may be its defensive play. The Bengals forced five turnovers in their thrashing of Otterbein, while the Saxons caused five in their two games.

“Our defense is nasty,” junior running back Tre Jones said. “I feel like we can beat any team with our defense. Our defense is just ridiculous this year; I have a lot of confidence in our defense.”

Whether it be the running game, defense, special teams or the quarterback play that leads the Bengals to a win, senior quarterback Kyle Hoppy feels it’s all about preparation.

“Try to prepare yourself as best you can and go out there and play to the best of your ability,” Hoppy said.

The players know they haven’t fared well against Alfred in the past, but for Jones, he thinks this is the year they get the job done.

“I think they’ve beaten us for the past two years,” Jones said. “So hopefully, we can come out with a ‘W’ on this end. I have much confidence that we can.”

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