BUFFALO, NY – In one of the wildest football games in NCAA history, the University at Buffalo dropped a 71-68 seven-overtime decision to Western Michigan at UB Stadium on Saturday. The teams combined to score 139 points, the most ever in an NCAA game and the seven overtimes tied the longest game in NCAA history.
UB quarterback Drew Anderson had not only the greatest game in school history, but one of the finest in the storied annals of the Mid-American Conference. The junior signal-caller threw for a school-record 597 yards and seven touchdowns and added an eighth score on the ground. His passing yardage total was the most in MAC history.
For the first time in school history, the Bulls had three receivers with over 100 yards receiving in a game. Anthony Johnson led the way with 11 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns – all career highs. K.J. Osborn also posted career-high numbers of seven catches for 138 yards and three scores. Kamathi Holsey had six receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulls trailed 24-14 early in the fourth quarter. Anderson delivered an 8-yard strike to Johnson to cut the WMU lead to 24-21. On the Bulls' next possession, Anderson connected on a 54-yard touchdown pass to Osborn to put UB ahead, 28-24, with 8:47 left.
The Broncos regained the lead, 31-28, on a touchdown pass with 4:45 left in regulation. The Bulls drove the field on the next possession and Adam Mitcheson calmly kicked a 34-yard field goal with just 34 seconds left to tie the game at 31. A 52-yard field goal attempt by Western Michigan at the regulation was blocked by Jarrett Franklin.
Anderson found Holsey for a 5-yard touchdown to open the scoring in overtime. Western Michigan answered with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tie the game and send it to a second overtime.
After Western Michigan scored on their possession in the second overtime, Anderson found Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie the game and force a third overtime.
After neither team scored in the third overtime, The Broncos struck first in the fourth OT with a touchdown run and a 2-point conversion to take a 53-45 lead. The Bulls answered with an Anderson-to-Osborn 4-yard touchdown connection, followed by some razzle dazzle as Johnson passed the ball to Anderson for the 2-point conversion.
The Bulls kicked off the fifth overtime with an Anderson to Osborn 27-yard touchdown. After the two-point conversion failed, Western Michigan took over, trailing by six. The Broncos scored a touchdown on their possession, but the UB defense stepped up and stop the two-point conversion. With the game tied at 59, the teams were off to the fifth overtime.
Western Michigan scored a touchdown with its possession in the sixth overtime, but again, the Bulls' defense stuffed the 2-point attempt.
After throwing seven touchdown passes, Anderson added one with his feet, scoring on a 2-yard scamper to tie the game at 59. However, a walk-off 2-point attempt failed and the game continued.
Mitcheson made a 25-yard field goal in the seventh overtime to give the Bulls a 68-65 lead. However, WMU's Jarvion Franklin, who rushed for 176 yards in the game, scored on a 12-yard run to win it for the Broncos.
"At 53 years old, I've been to a lot of football games in my career and this is probably the most exciting game I've ever been a part of," head coach Lance Leipold said. "We battled and we battled and battled and, unfortunately, we didn't make enough plays there at the end and came up a little short. I'm extremely proud of our football team and their grit and resiliency."
The Buffalo defense was led by Khalil Hodge who had 18 tackles and his first career interception. Ryan Williamson added a career-high 15 tackles and his second interception of the season. Ishmael Hargrove also had double-digit tackles with 10.
The Bulls are back home next Saturday to host Northern Illinois.
- 9 touchdowns are the most in school history
- 683 total yards are the most in school history
- 597 passing yards are the most in school history
- Jacob Martinez's 64-yd touchdown catch with 10:16 left in the first quarter was the longest touchdown of his career.
- K.J. Osborn finished with a career-high three touchdown receptions. It is tied for third in school history and the most by a UB player since Alex Neutz had four against Morgan State on September 8, 2012.
- This is the first time in school history UB has had three 100 yard receivers: Anthony Johnson (195), Kamathi Holsey (143), K.J. Osborn (138).
- 10 different UB players recorded at least one catch.
- Drew Anderson set the Mid-American Conference and school record for most passing yards (597) in game.
- Drew Anderson set the school record and tied the MAC record for most passing TD's (7).
- Khalil Hodge had a team-high 18 tackles in the game, including a career high of 12 solo tackles.
- Ryan Williamson had 15 tackles in the game, including a career high of 10 solo tackles.