No Bull: UB Blasts Ohio 44-0
Hofher Captures First MAC Win
No, this is not another misprint.
In as dominant a performance as can be seen in any level of football, the UB Bulls (2-7, 1-6 MAC) steam-rolled Ohio University 44-0 to pick up their first conference win, and the first home win of the Jim Hofher era, Saturday afternoon.
Here are just a few of the things you would have had to see to bull-ieve:
The Bulls set a school record by holding Ohio (1-7, 1-5 MAC) to a grand total of two yards passing.
UB held a 26-11 advantage in first downs.
Buffalo's rushing offense, ranked last in the conference coming into the contest, out-gained the Bobcats' third-ranked rushing attack in the nation 242-159.
The Bulls held a 538-161 advantage in total yards, equivalent to almost four football fields.
UB quarterback Joe Freedy and defensive coordinator Thurmond Moore received the game balls. Freedy played a flawless game, going 25-for-38 for 296 yards and a touchdown. He never turned the ball over, and didn't take a single sack. Moore orchestrated the game plan that stifled the Bobcats and produced the first Bulls shutout since the 47-0 drubbing of D-I AA opponent Canisius in 1998.
If the athletics department had enough footballs in their budget, there were at least 10 other players who would have been worthy recipients.
Much had been made of the Bobcats' stable of running backs and the problems they would present to the Bulls defense. Instead, it was Buffalo's trio of running backs - Albert Grundy, Marquis Dwarte, and Derrick Gordon - who were the playmakers Saturday.
The overlooked Grundy, who had only 21 carries coming into Saturday's contest, led UB's onslaught with 13 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns. He also had the longest run of the day, a 50-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter down to the Bobcats' 9-yard line that set up his second score of the day. On the play Grundy carried a swarm of OU tacklers an additional 15 yards before he was finally pulled down from behind.
"[Grundy] is a very, very physical player," said Ohio University Head Coach Brian Knorr.
Derrick Gordon (12 carries for 63 yards) also scored two touchdowns on the afternoon, while Dwarte (18 carries for 74 yards) added another score.
The Bulls' offensive line, led by tackle Jeff Mills, did an excellent job controlling the line of scrimmage and sealing off the corners by the goal line, allowing the backs to execute their red zone offense perfectly.
"We've come together really well in the last couple weeks. Just having five guys together that jell really well, and with backs like we have makes it easy to do," said Mills.
"It's a very exciting day for our kids, a very complete victory. We had tremendous performance in all three areas [offense, defense, and special teams]," Hofher said. "Our defense did a magnificent job. The preparation that Thurmond Moore and the coaches provided and the execution by the players against the nation's number three ranked rushing offense was really inspiring."
The Bobcats' best chance to score came on their first possession. Fullback Joe Sherrill kept the drive alive, rushing for four yards on a fourth-and-one play. Buffalo's defense stiffened, however, and Kevin Kerr's 41-yard field goal attempt drifted wide right. That was the last time the Bobcats had a sniff at the lead all game.
UB safety Craig Rohlfs picked off a Dontrell Jackson pass at the Bulls' 46-yard line to set up the game's first touchdown. Dwarte bounced off-tackle and went in untouched from one-yard out to take a 7-0 lead.
After Kevin Kerr's second missed field goal of the afternoon, from 52 yards out, the Bulls struck again. This time it was Gordon going in from seven yards out to give the Bulls a commanding 14-0 lead.
Buffalo learned last weekend that just because an opponent is down does not mean they won't get back up. A Freedy to Matt Knueven 43-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter was the knockout punch the Bulls were looking for.
Knueven broke linebacker Demetri Taylor's arm-tackle, bounced off an Arden Banks attempt at the 25, and then fought off Bop White for the final 10 yards to the end zone. The true freshman had a career day, catching 7 balls for 105 yards and marking the second week in a row that a Bulls wide-out has topped the 100-yard mark in receiving yards.
Down 21-0, the option-oriented Bobcats were forced to open up the field, which led to more turnovers and more Bulls points.
UB defensive tackle Marcus Clarett forced Jackson to fumble, and fellow defensive lineman Chris Shelly recovered at the UB 49-yard line. Freedy hooked up with Maurice Bradford for a 38-yard completion to the Bobcat 13, setting up Derrick Gordon's 1-yard plunge into the end zone.
Suddenly, shockingly, the game was over before the band could take the field at the half. Dallas Pelz tacked on a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half, and the Bulls had staked themselves a 31-0 halftime lead.
UB will travel to West Point, N.Y. next weekend to take on Army. They return home Nov. 17 for their season finale against the University of Akron.