UB football beats Central Michigan, earns second consecutive win
A second-quarter sequence during Saturday’s football game gave Buffalo the lead and the Bulls didn’t look back.
The Bulls (4-4, 2-2) defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas (5-4, 3-2) 43-20 Saturday. The Bulls had a huge second quarter, where they took a sizable lead and broke the game open. The Bulls now have a two-game winning streak, with both wins against conference opponents.
After Buffalo forced a quick punt to start the game, redshirt freshman kicker Alex McNulty struck first on a 29-yard field goal. Central Michigan responded immediately, driving 75 yards to take the lead on a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Jonathan Ward.
The first quarter ended with the Bulls trailing 7-3 in a strong defensive game from both sides.
The momentum swung during the beginning of the second quarter, when two CMU fumbles allowed the Bulls to score twice, turning a 7-3 deficit into a 17-7 lead within minutes.
The Bulls started the second quarter in the red zone. Taking advantage of the field position, they immediately scored with junior wide receiver Antonio Nunn’s 8-yard touchdown grab in the back-left-corner of the end zone, giving the Bulls a 10-7 lead.
Chippewas’ running back Ward lost the ball again in the first play of the next drive, setting UB up in a great field position. Sophomore running back Jaret Patterson took advantage and ran for a 15-yard touchdown to put the Bulls up 17-7.
Patterson’s dominant runs and another back left-corner touchdown from Nunn gave the Bulls a 24-7 lead with 3:32 left in the second quarter.
After a CMU touchdown, redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw a screen pass to Patterson, who broke off a 54-yard catch-and-run with sophomore running back Kevin Marks, who earned a 3-yard touchdown and brought UB to a 30-14 lead at the half.
Vantrease, in the second half, threw an interception that CMU returned for a touchdown, but referees reversed the call. The Chippewas had another opportunity, but junior defensive end Taylor Riggins’ third-down sack ended the drive.
UB then used a strong running attack from Patterson, who had 39 rushing yards on a five-minute drive, to put the team in field-goal position.
The third quarter ended with UB up 33-14.
The Chippewas forced a punt early in the fourth and looked to get back into the game. Senior safety Joey Banks forced his second turnover of the game and had a key interception.
A third field goal from McNulty midway through the fourth quarter put the Bulls up 22 points.
CMU then scored on a 5-yard Kalil Pimpleton touchdown with 3:57 left in the fourth to cut the deficit to 16 points.
CMU had the ball with three and a half minutes left, but a 40-yard pick-six from junior linebacker Kadofi Wright put Buffalo up by 23 points with only 2:19 left in the game.
This was the first time this year that the Bulls have won consecutive games. With only three penalties Saturday, head coach Lance Leipold was pleased with his team’s effort.
“It meant a lot. … The last couple of years, we were first or second in the least amount of penalties,” Leipold said. “We take a lot of pride in our discipline and how we go about it. I think it’s another step in confidence and playing fast.”
The Bulls take on Eastern Michigan (4-4,1-3) on Saturday as they look to extend their current winning streak in Rynearson Stadium.
Germain Brown contributed to this reporting.
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