After rolling to a win over Idaho in week one, Penn State stays home to take on Buffalo.
“Getting into Buffalo, got a lot of respect for Coach [Lance] Leipold. He’s a guy I’ve gotten to know really well,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “You look at his record at Wisconsin-Whitewater, it’s ridiculous. I think he’s done a great job at
Buffalo. Just a really good guy that we’ve gotten fairly close with over the last couple years. Returning 15 starters. I do think they’re a program that’s an interesting program to look at when it comes to the transfer portal. I think they lost five returning all-conference players, so challenging. We’ve had some discussions about that in the off-season. But returning 15 starters, six on offense, six on defense, and three at the specialist positions. They’re 1-0, beat Robert Morris this past week, and we’re also talking about a team that won 10 games last year and were getting votes in the top-25 polls, so obviously they’ve done a great job. I thought last year they did some really fantastic things. He’s got a core group of guys, kind of like I do, that have been with him for a long time. His offensive coordinator was with him at Wisconsin Whitewater. Coach [Andy] Kotelnicki has done a really good job. You look at their numbers last year, they broke all types of records for the University at Buffalo. They’re a 12- and 11-personnel team for the most part. They’re going to run inside zone, they’re going to run the stretch play, the counter Y. Last week they did not throw the ball much, only 10 times, but you look at what they did last year, obviously with a veteran quarterback, they did some really good things in the
passing game. So we’re not really sure, did they do that because it was the first game and they didn’t feel like they needed to, did they not do that because they had a first-year redshirt freshman starting quarterback and they just did not want to put too much on his plate? That’s what you’re not sure of, and these early season games can be challenging like that.
“You look at who we’re impressed with, we’re impressed with their offensive line. They are physical on the O-line and really at tight end, as well. But their left tackle No. 67 (Evin Ksiezarczyk), their left guard No. 72 (Paul Nosworthy), their right guard No. 65 (Tomas Jack-Kurdyla), and their right tackle No. 73 (Kayode Awosika) — I’m not going to list out last names because some of them are difficult to pronounce, and I don’t want to disrespect any of those guys — but we love how they play on film. They are tough, physical, and play hard, and I think the tight ends complement them, as well. Defensively, same thing, another core guy that came with him from Wisconsin-Whitewater, Coach [Brian] Borland, does a really good job. They’re a base 4-3 team. I would say they’re more of a fundamental team. They’re going to do what they do, and they do it well. They’re a quarters team. Their safeties are really, really aggressive downhill guys. Their linebackers do a great job in the box. They’re going to play mainly quarters, variations of quarter. They will play some fire zone 33, as well. We like their D-end No. 50 (Malcolm Koonce), we like their Will linebacker No. 20 (James Patterson), and their free safety No. 9, Joey Banks. Obviously this team — I didn’t mention their running back (Jaret Patterson). He obviously had a great year for them. There’s actually five guys, including No. 20, the Will linebacker and the running back, there’s five guys on this team that Cam Sullivan-Brown went to high school with in Maryland that we’re familiar with, as well, through the recruiting process. And then their special teams coordinator, Coach [Taiwo] Onatolu. They have three starters returning. The punter, who’s also the holder a little bit like Blake Gillikin is for us, and then their long snapper, as well. I thought we had a great crowd last week. I want to thank all the fans and everybody for coming out. Tremendous opening game for us and crowd and support and environment, which is special, and we do not take it for granted. We know how blessed we are to have the type of support that we do. But we’re going to need that plus more this week. I’d love to see this game sold out, be a great environment, a great opportunity to get out with your family and enjoy college football and enjoy Happy Valley. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd for Buffalo this week.”
Wide receiver Daniel George knows a key for Penn State will be playing their game.
“I know Buffalo is a really good team,” George said. “They have pretty good DBs and they won the MAC last year with them. I feel like the main thing will be us staying focused and playing our game, living up to what we want to do on the field. That will be the main thing to help us get the win this week.”