When this game was announced a couple of years ago few thought it would be between two teams that were ranked the previous season and had won a bowl game. Buffalo did a solid job building under the old regime and Coastal Carolina took just four years to go from FCS upgrading to Sun Belt Champion.
But the stories of the teams diverge quite a bit this year.
Coastal Carolina is bringing back nearly their entire offense. Last years freshman starting quarterback, Grayson McCall, is going to once again run the spread triple option offense.
Last season he was the player of the year for the Sun Belt after completing 172-of-250 passes (68.8 percent) for 2,488 yards with 26 touchdowns. He also rushed for 569 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns.
He’s terribly efficient throwing just three picks along side those 26 touchdowns.
They do lose their main running back but bring back two solid players who are a “strength and speed” committee in Reese White and Shermari Jones .
On the other side of the ball….
Well they return just about everybody, again.
They did lose defensive end Tarron Jackson, the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year who declared for the draft.
This is going to be a real test for Buffalo, it would have been a real test even if there was no coaching changes given who Coastal Carolina was last year and who they’ve returned.