Bear-ly a game
Bulls smacked by No. 23 Baylor
Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 8, 2013 21:09
Baylor scored a touchdown on each of its first seven drives and amassed a school-record 56 points in the first half.
The game didn’t get any prettier. Buffalo dropped Saturday’s matchup against No. 23 Baylor (2-0), 70-13. The Bears finished with 782 yards of total offense, a school record.
The Bulls (0-2) are the lone team in the country to open their season on the road against two ranked opponents, and they weren’t able to rebound from their Week One loss against then No. 2 Ohio State.
“We learned a lot from it; we didn’t schedule any softys,” said head coach Jeff Quinn. “We went after some of the best in the country and we wanted to see how we measured up against them. They are deserving to be one of the top five teams in my opinion right now.”
The 70 points allowed is a new UB modern-era Division I record, surpassing Marshall’s 66-point explosion against the Bulls in 2002. It was also the hottest game played by a Bulls team in school history, reaching temperatures near 120 degrees.
Despite the Bulls’ promising opening drive – including a 54-yard ‘flea-flicker’ from sophomore quarterback Joe Licata to senior wide out Alex Neutz, and capped off by a touchdown run from senior running back Branden Oliver – the Bears answered early. They didn’t allow Buffalo to maintain any momentum.
“I was pleased with the way we came out of the gates, we opened up, and were able to jump on them,” Quinn said. “After that, [their performance was] impressive. They got a great team.”
Eight of the Bears’ next nine drives resulted in touchdowns and their only empty drive came as time expired at the half. The Bears benched their starting cast after the opening touchdown drive of the third quarter; they led 63-13.
All nine of their touchdown drives came in less than two minutes, as the Bears continue to have one of the quickest, most explosive offenses in the country.
In his second career start, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns on 13 completions. Lache Seastrunk and Shock Linwood combined for 226 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. The receiving tandem of Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley had eight catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
Baylor wasn’t the only team on the field to pull their starters once the game got out of hand. Neutz caught six passes for 197 yards in the first half – 22 yards shy of the UB school record for receiving yards in a game – but played just one drive in the third quarter and was held catch-less in the second half.
“[Neutz is] a special player,” said sophomore quarterback Joe Licata. “Teams keep giving us options to go to him and I’m going to keep throwing to him until they take him away.”
Neutz’s performance bumped him up to fifth all-time on UB’s career receiving list.
The Bulls’ backfield struggled. Oliver and sophomore back Anthone Taylor ran for just 70 yards on 30 carries. The Bulls’ longest running play of the season stands at a paltry 11 yards.
The treacherous beginning to the Bulls’ schedule is over. Up next is the home opener against Stony Brook, an FCS program, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.