UB remains undefeated
Buffalo defeats Eastern Michigan 35-28
UB football competed against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles (2-1, 0-1 Mid-American Conference) on Saturday. In the first half, the two teams combined for over 600 yards of offense and 49 points. The teams settled down in the second as Buffalo won 35-28.
The Bulls (3-0, 1-0 MAC) wanted to continue its undefeated ways. In front of a crowd of 18,384 fans who haven’t seen a 3-0 UB football team since 1983, Buffalo did not want to disappoint. Buffalo marched down the field on its opening drive to take a quick 7-0 lead with 10:45 remaining to set the tone for the rest of the game.
“It's a pretty excited group in there right now and they're pretty excited at what they've been able to get done so far,” head coach Lance Leipold said. “I don't know if it's the 3-0 part or the 1-0 in the league. It's a great start and I think they're just excited to get wins against a good football team.”
The drive was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by redshirt-freshman running back Kevin Marks after junior running back Emmanuel Reed was stuffed at the line the play before.
After stopping Eastern’s first drive on a fourth down, the Bulls took over on their own 44-yard line. Eight plays later, the Bulls were celebrating in the endzone as junior quarterback Tyree Jackson threw eight yards across his body to junior wide receiver K.J. Osborn for the touchdown.
There would be three straight punts until, in true #MACtion style, one of the wildest sequences in college football took place.
With 4:54 remaining in the second quarter, Eastern Michigan scored on a 76-yard pass as junior wide receiver Arthur Jackson tiptoed down the sideline, sprinting towards the goal line. On the very next drive, Buffalo threw a 70-yard pass for a touchdown as Jackson and Osborn connected again. Eastern Michigan regained possession and score once more. A 75-yard pass up the middle of the field would finish the sequence of three plays and three touchdowns. The score went from 14-0 to 21-14 in just 28 seconds.
Marks would score his second touchdown of the game and fourth in two weeks with just over two minutes remaining.
The Eagles drove down the field and were at UB’s one yard line with just a few ticks of the clock left. The Bulls defense was one second away from escaping to the half up 28-14. But, a controversial call ruled Eastern Michigan’s junior quarterback Mike Glass down when he did not have possession of the ball. The call left one second remaining on the clock and the Bulls who should be in the locker room, let up a one yard rushing touchdown to close the half still up 28-21.
The game that looked to be a shootout ended in the third quarter. Buffalo was kept to just 28 yards of offense and only held the ball for four minutes and 32 seconds. Eastern Michigan could not take advantage and was left empty handed on both of its drives.
On Buffalo’s first drive in the fourth quarter, Jackson found his favorite target of the night. Osborn out ran everyone and scored for his third time. He and Jackson combined for seven receptions, a career high 188 yards and three touchdowns.
Osborn grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the home of Eastern Michigan and did not receive an offer from the team.
“I took this game a little personal,” Osborn said. “Eastern Michigan is my hometown and the stadium is within walking distance of my father's house. I didn't get an offer, a letter. So all week at practice I knew I was going to take this game personal.”
Buffalo finally found its defensive groove in the second half. Led by senior defensive end Chuck Harris, the Bulls held Eastern Michigan scoreless throughout the second half until the final minute. Harris wore the honorary 41 for former teammate Solomon Jackson and had a career day. He head eight total tackles, two and a half sacks and one forced fumble.
“Knowing Solomon, that was my big brother when he was here,” Harris said. “My locker's right next to his. Every day he came in, he made me better. So, I had to do a lot better.”
Buffalo travels to New Brunswick, New Jersey to take on Rutgers (1-2, 0-1 Big10) this Saturday at noon.