Buffalo (2-6, 1-3 MAC) at Ohio (6-3, 4-1 MAC)
Novemeber 3, 2016
Peden Stadium - 6:00 pm
Radio in Buffalo - 1520-AM WWKB
• The home team has won the last six meetings, dating back to 2010.
• Since joining the MAC in 1999, the Bulls are 1-8 at Peden Stadium - with their lone win coming in 2008.
• Jordan Johnson (1,807) is 103 yards shy of becoming just the seventh player in school history to rush for 2,000 career yards.
• In their last outing, the Bulls rushed for 378 yards - their most ever as an FBS program.
• Khalil Hodge is seven tackles shy of 100 for the season. If he gets its against Ohio, he would be the fastest player in UB's FBS era (since 1999) to reach 100 tackles in a season (9 games). Hodge ranks 3rd in the nation in tackles per game (11.6).
• Buffalo is averaging 7.2 yards per carry over the last 2 games.
• With 518 yards of total offense against Akron last week, the Bulls went over 500 yards of total offense for the first time since they rolled up 548 yards of total offense at Massachusetts on Nov. 28, 2014.
• The Bulls lead the MAC and rank third in the nation in pass defense, allowing 158.3 yards per game.
• Tyree Jackson has accounted for 13 of the Bulls' 17 touchdowns on the season (8 passing, 5 rushing).
• Lance Leipold was on Frank Solich's staff at Nebraska from 2001-03.
Bulls Travel to Ohio Looking for Second Straight Win
The University at Buffalo football team will travel to Ohio to face the Bobcats on Thursday night at Peden Stadium. The Bulls are 2-6 overall, 1-3 in the MAC and are coming off a 41-20 win over Akron last Thursday. Buffalo was led by running back Jordan Johnson who rushed for a school-record 282 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio is 6-3 overall, 4-1 in the MAC and is coming off a 31-26 win at Toledo last Thursday. The Bobcats are led by quarterback Greg Windham who has passed for 1,366 yards and nine touchdowns on the year. Ohio leads the all-time series, 13-9. The Bulls won the last meeting, 41-17, last season at UB Stadium.
JJ is Dynamite!
Jordan Johnson rushed for a school record 282 yards and two touchdowns against Akron last week. He broke the previous record of 266 yards set by Alan Bell against Duquesne in 1991. Johnson's total was the highest by a MAC player this season and the fifth best single-game total of any player in the nation. With 1,897 career rushing yards, Johnson has entered the Top 10 in school history in career rushing yards and is 103 yards shy of becoming just the seventh player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards. His career 5.1 yards per carry average is better than both former UB greats Branden OIiver (4.7) and James Starks (4.5).
Whether through the air or on the ground, Tyree Jackson has accounted for 13 of the Bulls' 17 touchdowns on the season. The redshirt-freshman quarterback has passed for eight touchdowns and has rushed for five more.
Running Down a Dream
In its win over Akron, Buffalo rushed for 378 yards. It was the most yards gained on the ground by a UB team since joining the FBS ranks in 1999. It was an impressive total for a team that had rushed for a combined 430 yards over the previous four games combined. UB's four rushing touchdowns against the Zips was only one fewer than it had in the first seven games of the 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 third in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.6 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 is just seven tackles shy of 100 for the season. If he gets it against Ohio, he'll be the fastest player in UB's FBS era to reach 100 tackles.
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.
Tyree Jackson is turning heads with his impressive play. The redshirt-freshman quarterback continues to improve and is getting better every game. Jackson had the best game of his young career against Ball State on October 15 as he went 28-for-46 for 306 yards and three touchdowns. 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. For the year, Jackson has passed for 1,374 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 348 yards and five TDs. He has scored two rushing touchdowns in a game twice this season. No other QB in the Bulls FBS era has ever scored two rushing touchdowns in a game even once.
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 33 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns. He had a career-best nine catches against Ball State on October 15. He has been a steady contributor over his entire career with 82 catches for 819 yards over his 42-game career. Schreck has been named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List.
Buffalo ranks first in the MAC and third in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 158.3 passing yards per game. The Bulls are significantly better than a season ago when they allowed 227 yards per game. Boston College (258) is the only team to pass for over 250 yards against the Bulls this season.
Junior linebacker Ishmael Hargrove is making the most of his first season as a starter. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 62 and has 38 solo stops. The Cleveland native has had a knack for turnovers. Of UB's nine forced turnovers on the year, Hargrove has had a hand in four of them with an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
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 40.8 yards per punt to rank sixth in the Mid-American Conference in punting. He has his sights set on breaking the single-season school record for punt average. The current record is 41.6 set by Ben Woods in 2007.
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. 20 different players have recorded a TFL this season, led by Brandon Crawford who has eight.
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.