UB football falls to Bowling Green 27-19
Buffalo can’t finish off the comeback
With the end of their season in sight, UB’s football team nearly pulled off a comeback win on Saturday.
“I don’t know if you’d call it a little bit of reckless abandon” said graduate transfer quarterback Grant Rohach. “Hey we were going for it, we were putting it down field regardless of if it was dicey or not, or risky, we were gonna leave it all out there.”
The Buffalo Bulls (2-10, 1-7 Mid-American Conference) came up just short of a comeback and fell to the Bowling Green Falcons (4-8, 3-5 MAC) 27-19 Friday at Doyt Perry Stadium. Rohach made his second straight start in place of injured redshirt freshman quarterback Tyree Jackson and finished with 334 yards and two touchdowns. The game came down to the last play when Rohach threw a ball to senior tight end Mason Schreck in the back of the end zone. The ball was too deep and an outstretched Schreck couldn’t bring it in.
“I looked him right in the eye in the huddle and told him ‘I’m coming to you,’” Rohach said. “That last play there, miscommunication on my part I thought he was going more vertical and he did the right thing of running the corner, complete mental error on me.”
Buffalo came back from a 27-12 deficit in the fourth quarter to give themselves anopportunity on the last play. Junior receiver Jamarl Eiland came down with his first career touchdown with 5:58 remaining in the game to put the Bulls down 27-19.
The following drive, Bulls junior defensive end Demone Harris forced a fumble and junior defensive tackle Chris Ford recovered it on the Buffalo 22. Buffalo drove 75 yards in 1:43. With four seconds left from the Bowling Green three yard-line, Rohach took his first shot at Schreck in the end zone, but it was broken up by Falcons sophomore defensive back Brandon Harris. Then they took their second shot with one second left and the game came to an end.
“I think where the game ended is the story of our season, its flashes and close but not good enough,” said Bulls head coach Lance Leipold.
Buffalo had a strong start, causing the Falcons to fumble on the opening drive of the game. But, prior to the start of the comeback, the Bulls struggled for a majority of the game. Senior running back Fred Coppet finished with 160 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries for Bowling Green. As a team, the Falcons finished with 346 yards. Junior running back Josh Cleveland and junior running back Donovan Wilson both also crossed the century mark for Bowling Green, finishing with 109 and 107 respectively.
“Did not handle the run game very well, didn’t tackle well again in space,” Leipold said.“Not doing a very good job in gap integrity again we’re struggling with that, struggled with it a lot of the year. All that said, Im extremely proud of the way we battled, we talk about playing till the end and we did.”
Run defense wasn’t the only problem for the Bulls. They also had two fumbles on their first two drives of the second half and a turnover on downs on their third that all led to Bowling Green points.
Senior running back Jordan Johnson found a hole in the Bowling Green defense and scored a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter, putting an exclamation point on his impressive career in Buffalo. He finishes his career with 2,212 yards, sixth in program history, and 19 touchdowns, eighth in program history, and 446 attempts, seventh in program history.
Dan Petruccelli is a sports staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org