Sweet revenge: Anthone Taylor totals 222 yards against Miami Ohio

The RedHawks revoked Taylor's scholarship in high school; he's totaled 376 yards against them

The Spectrum

Anthone Taylor doesn’t like Miami Ohio and he has a pretty good reason not to.

Taylor, who is from Huber Heights, Ohio, grew up fewer than 60 miles from Miami Ohio’s campus. The RedHawks were one of the teams offering him a scholarship. Before he could accept, they retracted it. Taylor was left “confused.”

“I told myself if I ever got the opportunity to play against them that I’ll make them regret the decision,” Taylor said.

Well, he’s done just that.

Junior running back Anthone Taylor had 36 carries for 222 yards and three touchdowns Saturday against the RedHawks – all career bests – in Buffalo’s 35-27 victory. His 222 yards is the fifth most in a single game in the team’s Division-I era.

But it wasn’t his first outburst against the RedHawks.

Taylor had 154 yards against Miami Ohio last season. In two games, Taylor has 376 rushing yards and is averaging 7 yards per carry against the school that told him he wasn’t good enough to play for them.

He also ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns – including the game-winning score – in Buffalo’s five-overtime victory against Stony Brook last season. He had two games of at least 115 yards this year entering Saturday.

Being that Miami Ohio has a new head coach this season, it’s probably a safe bet that whoever revoked Taylor’s scholarship is no longer at the university. Those coaches who are left, however, have the previous coach to thank for Taylor’s performance Saturday.

And boy, did the Bulls need Taylor on Saturday.

Taylor knew on Monday that sophomore Jordan Johnson wasn’t going to play this weekend. His “little brother” and member of the “three-headed beast” wouldn’t be there to relieve him when he was tired.

So he made sure his body was ready.

Whenever Taylor had a running lane in practice, he took it all the way to the end zone. He wouldn’t stop. He knew he had to be in peak shape for the game.

He knows how to practice. As head coach Jeff Quinn said, “He’s had a great example over the best four years with [Branden Oliver.]”

And it was No. 32, Branden Oliver, who texted Taylor before the game, telling him that he’d be watching from across the country as his team, the San Diego Chargers, is preparing for Jacksonville on Sunday.

Once he received that text Taylor said, “I knew I had to put on a show for him.”

Taylor’s always tries to impress Oliver. He reaches out to “Bo” for advice and Oliver responds. Oliver used to amaze Taylor when they were sharing a field and he wants to return the favor.

Oliver tweeted at 5 p.m. that Taylor would go run for over 200 yards.

“Come on bra couple more @AntIzTaylorMade,” Oliver tweeted at 7:42. Less than 30 minutes later, he tweeted Taylor one number: “200.”

Taylor passes the new wall design made in Oliver’s honor inside the football stadium every day. He said he uses it as “motivation” and is “coming for it.”

Taylor couldn’t quite reach Bo’s Division-I record of 249 yards Saturday. He’s not worried though. He knows he still has more opportunities.

“God’s on both our sides but this time he was favoring one side,” Taylor said. “I’m not in a rush to get that blessing, it will come.”

Taylor had 10 runs for at least 10 yards, including his final scamper that went 20 yards. He was pushed out of bounce at the 7-yard line and UB kneed the ball for the remainder of the game. But he wanted that final score. He said the end zone looked “huge.”

Taylor was cutting up defenders’ ankles and making them look silly throughout the game. He was running over RedHawks on his way to the end zone. For a minute, you thought you were watching No. 32 out of the Buffalo backfield.

Taylor and the Bulls watched a video this week about water boiling levels. Yes, it sounds boring, but it worked. The video said that at 211 degrees, water is hot. But at 212, it’s boiling. Taylor was at 222.

“It creates steam and steam could power up a locomotive,” Taylor said.

A locomotive, or a Division-I offense. Taylor’s 222 yards could have set off a campus fire alarm.

“When there’s a message during the week we get, we try to relay it,” Taylor said.

But this wasn’t the only message the Bulls were discussing on the sideline. Hip-hop artist Stitches performs a song called “Brick in yo face.” In it, there’s a line: “Better have my money when I come and collect.”

“Our mission was to make [Miami Ohio] pay up,” Taylor said.

Taylor certainly collected.

It’s funny that the RedHawks seemed to overlook Taylor yet again coming into Saturday’s game.

Maybe in 2015 they’ll be ready.

email: owen.obrien@ubspectrum.com