The second year of the Jeff Quinn era of University at Buffalo football officially begins today with spring football. Coming off a lackluster 2-10 season the allotted 15 practices will be critical. Here are five objectives for UB this spring:
1. Find a starting quarterback: This won’t be settled until after training camp in August, but sophomore Alex Zordich starts the spring as the starter while junior Jerry Davis will back him up. The other quarterbacks on the roster are redshirt freshman Rudy Johnson and senior Cory Jorgensen and in February, UB signed Williamsville South’s Joe Licata and Tony Daniel from Georgia. Only Zordich and Davis have been in the fire in the MAC. This position was a primary weakness a year ago and the Bulls have to find someone who can run the offense successfully.
2. Re-define offensive goals: The Bulls committed 33 turnovers in 2010, 23 through the air, so UB is moving away from the pass heavy spread to a more balance scheme led by new offensive coordinator Alex Wood, who has a lengthy coaching resume including stints in the NFL. Considering the Bulls are once again deep at tailback, it’s a wise move.
3. Retool the offensive line: Quinn aimed for a leaner, meaner unit when he arrived but after it got pushed around and figured it was time for a make over so expect a bulkier line.
4. Rebuild the secondary: Davonte Shannon, Domonic Cook, Josh Thomas and Sherrod Lott are all gone but the potential replacements have talent. Carlos Lammons and Cincinnati transfer Romel Dismuke, both sophomores, have first dips on jobs.
5. Create some positive chemistry: The Bulls struggled with chemistry issues last season as the teams adjusted from the serene Turner Gill to the fiery Quinn. While a winning season would have been a reach considering the overall inexperience of the offense, no one could have predicted a 2-10 finish. Now that the coaches and players have spent a season navigating their way through the adjustment period, they must find the kind of bond that championship-caliber teams possess.