Buffalo (1-5, 0-2 MAC) at Northern Illinois (1-6, 1-2 MAC)
October 22, 2016
Huskie Stadium - 3:30 pm (EST)
Radio in Buffalo - 1520-AM WWKB
• The Bulls are looking for their first win over Northern Illinois since joining the Mid-American Conference in 1999. The Bulls are 0-8 against the Huskies.
• Jordan Johnson (1,518) is 11 yards shy of passing Derrick Gordon (1,528) for ninth, 41 yards shy of passing Willie Evans (1,559) for eighth and 53 yards shy of passing Lee Jones (1,570) for seventh in school history in career rushing yards.
• In his last two games, Tyree Jackson went a combined 48-of-85 for 556 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
• Buffalo is the second least penalized team in the MAC (41.3 ypg), while Northern Illinois ranks last in the MAC in penalties against (71.7).
• The Bulls lead the MAC and rank fourth in the nation in pass defense, allowing 148.2 yards per game.
• After committing four turnovers in the opener, the Bulls have only committed three turnovers in the five games since.
• Khalil Hodge ranks third in the nation in tackles per game (11.7). He has had 15 or more tackles in three of the six games this season.
• Since joining the MAC, the Bulls are 1-19 in road games against West Division opponents.
• UB's opponents have scored on their first possession in five of the six games this season.
Bulls Travel to Northern Illinois to Face the Huskies
The University at Buffalo football team will travel to Northern Illinois to battle the Huskies on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls are 1-5 overall, 0-2 in the MAC and are coming off a 31-21 loss to Ball State on Saturday. Buffalo was led by quarterback Tyree Jackson who threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 64 yards. Northern Illinois is 1-6 overall, 1-2 in the MAC and is coming off a 34-28 overtime loss to Central Michigan on Saturday. The Huskies are led by wide receiver Kenny Gollady who has 49 catches for 725 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Northern Illinois leads the all-time series, 9-1. The Huskies won the last meeting, 41-30, last season at UB Stadium.
Whether through the air or on the ground, Tyree Jackson has accounted for 10 of the Bulls' 11 touchdowns on the season. The redshirt-freshman quarterback has passed for seven touchdowns and has rushed for three more.
A New Khalil
Khalil Mack will likely always be remembered as the best player to ever play at UB. However, there is a new linebacker named Khalil making some noise of his own for the UB football team. Khalil Hodge, a sophomore transfer from City College of San Francisco, leads the team and ranks third in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.7 tackles per game. He had 17 tackles against Nevada on Sept. 17 and 16 the following week against Army. He became the first UB player in their FBS era to have 16+ tackles in consecutive games. He has had 15 or more tackles in three of the six games this season.
A New Khalil
Khalil Mack will likely always be remembered as the best player to ever play at UB. However, there is a new linebacker named Khalil making some noise of his own for the UB football team. Khalil Hodge, a sophomore transfer from City College of San Francisco, leads the team and ranks fifth in the nation in tackles, averaging 11 tackles per game. He had 17 tackles against Nevada on Sept. 17 and 16 the following week against Army. He became the first UB player in their FBS era to have 16+ tackles in consecutive games.
Tyree Jackson is turning heads with his impressive play. The redshirt-freshman quarterback continues to improve and is getting better every game. Jackson is coming off the best game of his young career as he went 28-for-46 for 306 yards and three touchdowns against Ball State. He also added 64 yards rushing. He became the first freshman quarterback in the Bulls FBS era (since 1999) to throw for over 300 yards in a game. In his last two games, Jackson was a combined 48-for-85 for 556 yards and four touchdowns. For the year, Jackson has passed for 1,031 yards and rushed for 283 yards. He became the first quarterback in the Bulls' FBS era to have two rushing touchdowns in a game when he scored twice against Army. He has done a good job taking care of the ball as he only has two interceptions in 184 passing attempts.
Keeping it Clean
After being penalized nine times in the opener against Albany, the Bulls have done a much better job of not getting penalized in the four games since. UB has only committed 16 penalties over the last four games. The Bulls rank second in the MAC in fewest penalties, averaging only 39.8 yards per game.
Junior linebacker Ishmael Hargrove is making the most of his first season as a starter. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 43 and has a team-best 26 solo stops. The Cleveland native also leads the team in sacks with three and has forced and recovered two fumbles on the year.
Buffalo had a season-high 10 tackles for loss at Boston College. It was the most tackles for loss in a game since having 10 against Central Michigan on October 25, 2014. The Bulls had a total of 12 tackles for loss in the first three games combined. 17 different players have recorded a TFL this season, led by Brandon Crawford who has four.
Jackson and Mitcheson Named MAC Players of the Week
After playing key roles in Buffalo's come-from-behind victory over Army, quarterback Tyree Jacksonand kicker Adam Mitcheson were named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, on September 26. Jackson had the best game of his young career. In only his second career start, the redshirt-freshman signal caller accounted for all three of the Bulls touchdowns in their comeback victory over the Black Knights. Jackson ran for two touchdowns and passed for another. He finished 20-of-31 for 178 yards and a touchdown and added 34 yards rushing and two scores on the ground. Mitcheson, UB's sophomore kicker, made his only field goal of the game, a 33-yarder in overtime, to give the Bulls the walk-off win. He was also 2-of-3 on extra points. His extra point with 2:26 remaining in the game tied the contest at 20.
Tyree Jackson continues to impress at a young age as the redshirt-freshman quarterback orchestrated a come-from-behind victory over Army in only his second career start. With the Bulls trailing, 10-0, in the third quarter, Jackson's one-yard touchdown run cut the lead to 10-6. Jackson connected with Kamathi Holsey on a 5-yard touchdown pass to bring the Bulls to within a touchdown. Jackson orchestrated the game-tying 62-yard drive and tied the game on a one-yard touchdown dive. He found Mason Schreck to convert a 4th and 9 to keep the game-tying drive alive. Jackson was 9-of-13 for 109 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. For the year, Jackson has passed for 475 yards and rushed for 179 yards. He became the first quarterback in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999) to have two rushing touchdowns in a game when he scored twice against Army.
Junior linebacker Ishmael Hargrove is making the most of his first season as a starter. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 50 and has 31 solo stops. The Cleveland native has had a knack for turnovers. Of UB's seven forced turnovers on the year, Hargrove has had a hand in four of them with an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Schreck Carries the Torch
A year after Matt Weiser was a first-team All-MAC tight end for the Bulls, Buffalo hasn't missed a beat with 2016 starter Mason Schreck. The senior tight end leads the Bulls in receiving with 25 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He had a career-best nine catches against Ball State last week. He has been a steady contributor over his entire career with 74 catches for 724 yards over his 40-game career. Schreck has been named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List.
Taking Care of the Ball
The Bulls committed four turnovers against Albany in the opener, but have since done a great job taking care of the ball. Over the last five games, the Bulls have only committed three turnovers - never having a game with more than one.
Kyle DeWeen joined the Bulls as a walk-on punter. After earning the starting job during camp, he is having a breakout season for the Bulls. DeWeen is averaging 41.7 yards per punt to rank sixth in the Mid-American Conference in punting. He is on pace to break the single-season school record for punt average. The current record is 41.66 set by Ben Woods in 2007.
Honoring a Friend
Boise Ross has changed his jersey number from 1 to 41 to honor teammate Solomon Jackson who passed away in February. Jackson's parents asked Ross to wear their son's number since the two were close friends and roommates.
Buffalo has plenty of new faces on the roster in 2016. In fact, 42 new players will suit up for the Bulls this season, making UB not only the most inexperienced team in the Mid-American Conference, but one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation. Phil Steele lists Buffalo as the fourth most inexperienced team in the nation.
The Bulls placed three players on different preseason watch lists for the upcoming year. Senior cornerback Boise Ross was named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award Watch, awarded to the nation's top defensive back. Senior tight end Mason Schreck was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, given to the nation's top tight end. Sophomore James O'Hagan was named the Rimington Trophy Watch List, given to the best center in college football.
The Bulls have a number of players on the offensive side of the ball that actually played quarterback in high school. Starting running back Jordan Johnson, starting receiver Marcus McGilland starting tight end Mason Schreck were all quarterbacks for their high school teams. In addition, reserve tight end Kevin Rogers and reserve wide receiver Jamarl Eiland were also quarterbacks in high school.
Youth at Inside Linebacker
With the graduation of Nick Gilbo and Travis Pitzonka, the Bulls will have fresh faces at the middle linebacker spot. Following a strong camp, sophomore JUCO transfer Khalil Hodge is slated to started while true freshman Matt Otwinowski is listed as the top reserve. Hodge transferred to UB after playing one season at the City College of San Francisco. He had an astounding 262 tackles his senior season at St. Mary's High School in Stockton, CA. At 6-3, 225, Otwinowski has good size for a true freshman. He had 87 tackles in seven games his senior year of high school and is the school record holder for career tackles.
The Bulls added a trio of graduate transfers to the roster in the offseason. Quarterback Grant Rohach, defensive tackle Remaine Douglas and defensive end will Joe Keels all be eligible to play immediately. Rohach transferred from Iowa State where he started five games over his career. He saw the most extensive action of his career in 2013 when he appeared in seven games and started the final four of the season. He threw for 1,208 yards and eight touchdowns, completing 110-of-191 pass attempts. Douglas came to Buffalo from Lousiana-Lafayette where he played for current defensive line coach Tim Edwards. He appeared in 32 games and started twice for the Ragin' Cajuns. He had career totals of 25 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss. Keels transferred from Nebraska where he played two seasons for the Huskers. He appeared in five games in 2014, before an injury sidelined him in 2015.
All You Need is Lovejoy
Lovejoy, GA is a town of 6,300 and Lovejoy High School had a graduating class of 406 in 2014. Now three members of that same high school class play on the UB defense. Cornerback Brandon Williams, defensive end Randy Anyanwu and safety Jordan Collier were all teammates on the same Lovejoy team before coming to UB.
The Name Game
UB defensive back Boise Ross' full name is DuBois Ross - named for W.E.B. Du Bois, founder of the NAACP. He has two brothers, Duke Ellington Ross, named for the legendary jazz musician and Langston Hughes Ross, named after a poet and social activist.
On The Airwaves
Again this season, University at Buffalo football can be heard locally on ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station with one of the strongest signals in the nation. Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 17th year, and ninth consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Back in the analyst role is former Navy standout quarterback Jim Kubiak. Scott Wilson will return to his sideline duties in 2016 and Brad Riter also returns as in game host. Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan. Jon Fuller hosts the UB Football Insider with Lance Leipold radio show on Thursday nights at 6:00 pm. The show air on ESPN 1520 and be broadcast live from the Santora's Millersrport location.