University at Buffalo leading rusher Bo Oliver remains day-to-day with an unspecified injury and did not participate in practice on Tuesday, but Bulls coach Jeff Quinn said the junior tailback will make the trip to Connecticut for Saturday's game.
Oliver, who has rushed for 426 yards and three touchdowns in 2012, was injured just before halftime of UB's loss last week against Kent State and did not return.
"Whether he plays in the game or not, we're going to have to wait and see," Quinn said during his weekly news conference. "The young man is a tough kid and if you talk to him today, he's playing today. We're going to have to wait and see."
Quinn said that senior defensive end Steven Means, who was also injured against Kent State, will play on Saturday as will senior strong safety Isaac Baugh. But wide receiver Fred Lee and fullback Boomer Brock, a pair of juniors, are lost for an extended period of time although Quinn didn't indicate how long.
Senior Rashad Jean will start at fullback and will be backed by junior Jimmy Gordon, who along with junior Alex Dennison, are listed atop the depth chart at tight end. Junior Adam Redden (St. Francis), who was originally recruited as a wide receiver, is now listed at strong safety behind Baugh and junior Okoye Houston. Also, Redder will back up freshman Marcus McGill at long snapper.
Lee's injury comes at a time when UB has yet to develop a No. 2 threat behind Alex Neutz (Grand Island). Neutz has 15 receptions for 264 yards and six touchdowns which leads the country.
The rest of the team has 21 catches for 262 yards and one TD, by Gordon. The Bulls suffered heavy losses in the receiving corp to graduation and someone (Devon Hughes? Cordero Dixon? Rudy Johnson?) has to step up.
"It's not physical, it's mental,'' Quinn said. "The speed of the game, the accuracy, the precision, the proper depth in the cuts, the signals, there's a lot on their plate. . It does take them time to get them in there and get them comfortable with all the things they need to do to execute."
This is the first time the Bulls play UConn since former UB athletic director Warde Manuel left for Storrs, Conn., last spring. Manuel hired Quinn to replace Turner Gill three years ago.
"Warde is one of the finest in the business," Quinn said. "He's a tremendous leader and he brought his top assistant [UConn senior associate] Doug Gnodtke. These are gentlemen who mean a lot to me personally and certainly I know it's a competitive game and I want to beat them and they want to beat us. . Warde's not taking a snap and neither am I, thank God."
UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer was sacked six times by the Broncos but the Huskies were forced to play from behind and the sack total was not reflective of the offensive line. Whitmer threw 44 passes against Western Michigan but averaged just over 22 attempts in his three previous games.
"It kind of put them in a different mindset and that's a credit to Western Michigan," Quinn said. "It's a different day, it's a different game it's a different everything."