Game Rewind: UB 7 - Kent State 23
Junior wide receiver Alex Neutz provided one of the only offensive highlights for the Bulls Wednesday night when he caught a Hail Mary to end the first half. Nick Fischetti /// The Spectrum
The offense played poorly, to say the least, in an ugly Buffalo loss to Kent State on Wednesday night. Season-lows were aplenty, as junior quarterback Alex Zordich threw for a season-low 92 yards and went 4 for 22 with two interceptions. The Golden Flashes' defense was dominant as it accrued constant pressure on the Bulls offensive line.
Buffalo's defense played well, too, but it was on the field for far too long in the second half. The offense held the ball for only 8:41, and a gassed defense slowly unraveled. Kent State's two-headed running back tandem of Dri Archer and Trayion Durham punished the Bulls' defense.
Player of the Game
The final score isn't an indicator of UB's dominant defense at times during the game. Junior linebacker Khalil Mack was the star in primetime; he had a tremendous night despite the loss. He finished with 12 tackles (four for a loss) and two sacks. Mack made plays in bunches and made crucial plays to hold certain Kent State touchdowns to field goals.
After the first half and the injury to junior running back Branden Oliver, it seemed the run game would be in trouble, especially because the team's original backup, sophomore James Potts, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Junior running back Brandon Murie and his counterpart, freshman Devin Campbell, filled in nicely early in the second half, as they teamed up to fill in for Oliver. Campbell had a way to find open holes against a tough Golden Flashes defense, and Murie showed a burst that will lead to some long touchdowns in the future with more playing time.
Archer was free to exploit the Bulls' defense whenever he wanted, and for the most part, he did. He had 159 all-purpose yards, but it could have been much more had he not dropped some easy touchdown passes during the game. The real 'Bull Killer' goes to
Durham, who consistently made backbreaking runs, especially on third and short situations.
After Kent State's Freddy Cortez kicked a 33-yard field goal to make the score 13-7 midway through the third quarter, Buffalo went on its longest drive of the half. After a Murie five-yard run gave the Bulls a first down at the Kent State 37-yard line, Zordich took a shot at the end zone to junior wide receiver Alex Neutz - a pass that was intercepted by Darius Polk at the 2-yard line. From then on, Buffalo made one play in Golden Flashes territory - a sack that brought the Bulls back on the other side of the 50.
He said it...
"It's just a bad day all around. Individually this team needs more from me, and I put that on my shoulders. I expect more out of myself to help this team win."
- Zordich on his performance Wednesday night
Buffalo has some work to do in the 10 days leading up to the game against UConn on the road, which is the first of three straight road contests. The 2-1 Huskies are coming off a 24-21 win on the road against Maryland, in which they defeated their former coach, Randy Edsall. Before playing the Bulls, they will travel to an environment familiar to Bulls fans, Kalamazoo, Mich., as they take on Western Michigan.
The Huskies are led by their defense, which is holding opponents to only 10.3 points a game. Third in the country in total defense, as well as sacks with 14, their front seven led by linebacker Yawin Smallwoodwill cause problems for an offensive line that was frequently beaten by Kent State.
Kickoff for the game versus Connecticut on Saturday, Sept. 29 will be at noon.
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