Stampede Stats: Liberty Flames bulldoze Bulls after huge second quarter

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The Bulls (1-2) kept the game relatively close throughout the first quarter on Saturday against the Liberty Flames (1-2), but their defense fell apart in the second quarter, ultimately leading to a 35-17 Flames victory.

Here’s what you need to know about the game and what the Bulls need to do to bounce back from their worst upset of the season so far.

What led to the loss

After the Bulls met the Liberty Flames with almost no resistance during a touchdown-scoring drive within the first two minutes of the game, UB bounced back on defense, holding Liberty scoreless the rest of the quarter. 

But the Bulls struggled on offense throughout. Buffalo, with only 10 total drives in the game, was only able to score on three of them, specifically two touchdowns and one field goal. The Bulls, who had two missed field goals, squandered plenty of opportunities to pull themselves back in a game where they had little room for error. 

The Flames’ huge second quarter, consisting of four drives, with three of them ending in touchdowns, was a big reason the Bulls left without a victory. 

The Bulls weren’t able to contain Liberty’s senior quarterback Stephen Calvert, who threw 23-of-30 in the game, with 325 yards and four touchdowns. Flames’ senior wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden also had a field day, totaling 174 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. 

This pair was able to tear apart the Bulls’ secondary and carry Liberty’s lackluster running game to a convincing win.

Who Showed Out

As usual, the Bulls’ running game was the bright spot of the team. The team ran for 206 total yards, with 108 of them coming from sophomore running back Kevin Marks. Marks averaged six yards a carry, with his longest being 23 yards, easily making it his best game of the season. 

The duel-headed running game of Marks and sophomore Jaret Patterson has been unstoppable this season, totaling 477 yards in the past three games. 

What’s next

With three games under his belt, freshman quarterback Matt Myers has started to get comfortable on the field. His 33 passing attempts this game were a personal high so far this season. This, coupled with the fact that he didn’t throw any interceptions against the Flames, is a positive for him and his potential, but he still hasn’t had his breakout game yet. 

In all three games this season, Myers has completed roughly 50% of his passes. 

The Bulls have now dropped to 1-2. Next Saturday they will face another tough opponent in the Temple Owls, standing at 2-0.

Sean Stanton is a staff writer and can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com