UB football (6-5, 4-3 MAC) defeated Toledo (6-5, 3-4 MAC) 49-30 on Wednesday night.
The Bulls are now bowl eligible for the third-straight season and fifth time in program history. With an offensive explosion from sophomore running backs Jaret Paterson and Kevin Marks, who each broke personal and team records, the Bulls earned a season-high 503 yards.
The Bulls were in complete control throughout the game and never trailed once. Senior linebacker Matt Otwinowski caught his first career interception in the first quarter, setting up the Bulls offense at Toledo’s 24-yard line.
On the next play, redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw a screen to Patterson, who took it 24 yards for a score. Patterson had a monster game, rushing for a career-high 192 yards and 4 touchdowns and tied the MAC record with 5 touchdowns in a game.
Marks also rushed for a season-high 118 yards and a score.
“I feel like we’re the best duo in the conference — I feel like we’re one of the best in the country,” Patterson said. “That’s just the standard we have for ourselves.”
Coming into Wednesday’s match-up, the Bulls were ranked as the second rushing offense in the MAC, behind Toledo.
But Toledo couldn’t stop the Bulls’ rushing attack, as they rushed for a season-high 331 yards, averaging 6.4 yards a carry. The 6 rushing touchdowns is the most by a Bulls team in its FBS era and one shy of the all-time school record.
Vantrease led the team, passing for 172 yards and 1 touchdown. He also rushed it in for a touchdown of his own from 1 yard out.
Vantrease made crucial throws on third down to keep the Bulls offense on the field, as they were 9-14 on third down. He said he’s relieved about bowl eligibility, but won’t get too comfortable.
“As we learned two years ago, six wins is not good enough,” Vantrease said. “We have to go out next week and get that seventh.”
As the sixth-ranked pass rushing defense in the nation, UB put out a solid performance once again.
Otwinowski led the team with 10 tackles for the second-consecutive game. The Bulls had 4 sacks, with 27 total over the last six games.
Senior defensive end Ledarius Mack had 2 sacks and a forced fumble.
Toledo’s offense took a blow in the second half when junior quarterback Eli Peters didn’t return, and was ruled out with an undisclosed injury.
The Bulls defense took advantage of redshirt freshman Carter Bradley in the quarterback position. The Rockets offense struggled to score in the second half, as UB held them to only 10 points. Bradley had a rough night against the ferocious Bulls defense, completing 6-17 passes for only 85 yards.
“I told them we’re in the fourth quarter of our season, what are we going to do with it?” head coach Lance Leipold said. “Are we going to let that [loss] be the tale of what this team is, or are we going to do something about it? And I’m very proud of them and I’m proud of my staff.”
With one game left in the regular season, the Bulls need to win next week to increase their chances of bowl selection.
Buffalo takes on Bowling Green (3-8, 2-5 MAC) on Nov. 29 at UB Stadium.
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Myah Gonzalez is an asst. sports editor at The Spectrum.