Buffalo (1-2, 0-0 MAC) at Boston College (2-2, 1-1 ACC)
October 1, 2016
Alumni Stadium - 1:00 pm
Radio in Buffalo - 1520-AM WWKB
• This is the ninth meeting between Buffalo and Boston College. The Eagles lead the all-time series, 6-2.
• The Bulls last traveled to Chestnut Hill in 2006. Boston College won that game 41-0.Bulls have never rushed for over 200 yards in each of the first three games of the season.
• Tyree Jackson is the first freshman quarterback to start for the Bulls since Joe Licata started the final four games of the 2012 season.
• With 17 tackles at Nevada and 16 tackles against Army, linebacker Khalil Hodge is the first player in the Bulls FBS era (since 1999) to have 16 or more tackles in back-to-back games.
• In their win against Army, the Bulls erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to win a game for the first time since defeating Bowling Green in 2008.
• Jordan Johnson (1,402) is 87 yards shy of passing Tom Roth (1,488) for 10th in school history in career rushing yards.
• Since joining the FBS ranks in 1999, the Bulls are just 1-25 all time against opponents from power five conferences. UB's lone victory was a 34-11 win at Rutgers in 2002.
• After opening the season with three straight night games, Saturday will be the first afternoon game for the Bulls.
• Since being inserted into the starting lineup midway through the second quarter of the opener against Albany, Tyree Jackson has yet to be sacked.
Bulls Close out Non-Conference Play at Boston College
The University at Buffalo football team will close out non-conference play at Boston College on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls are looking to build on their 23-20 overtime victory over Army on Saturday. Buffalo was led by redshirt-freshman Tyree Jackson who accounted for all three of the Bulls touchdowns. He threw for 178 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 34 yards and two more in the victory.
Boston College is 2-2 and is coming off a 42-10 win over Wagner on Saturday. The Eagles are led by running back Jon Hilliman who has rushed for 241 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
Boston College leads the all-time series, 6-2. The Eagles won the last meeting, 41-0, in 2006 at Alumni Stadium.
Jackson and Mitcheson Named MAC Players of the Week
After playing key roles in Buffalo's come-from-behind victory over Army, quarterback Tyree Jackson and kicker Adam Mitcheson were named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, on Monday.
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 433 yards and rushed for 181 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.
The Bulls erased a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Army last Saturday. It was the largest fourth quarter comeback since the Bulls erased a 20-point fourth quarter deficit to win at Bowling Green on November 21, 2008.
Buffalo ranks second in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 110 passing yards per game. The Bulls did play an Army offense that is predicated on the run, but the Bulls are better than a season ago when they allowed 227 yards per game.
Bulls vs. the ACC
This will be the third time the Bulls will face an ACC opponent since joining the FBS ranks in 1999. The Bulls lost at Virginia in 1999 and at Boston College in 2006. The Bulls have also faced current members Pittsburgh and Syracuse before they joined the conference - going 0-4 against both.
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 11 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. He has been a steady contributor over his entire career with 60 catches for 616 yards over his 37-game career.
Young Linebackers Stepping Up
Heading into the season, the UB coaching staff had the tough task replacing linebackers Okezie Alozie and Nick Gilbo. Alozie was an All-MAC selection and Gilbo had 113 tackles.
Early on, sophomore Khalil Hodge and junior Ishmael Hargrove have stepped up and filled their shoes quite nicely. Hodge, who joined the team in January after transferring from City College of San Francisco, leads the Bulls in tackles with 39. He had 17 tackles against Nevada on Sept. 17 and 16 last week against Army. He is the first UB player in their FBS era to have 16+ tackles in consecutive games.
After playing a reserve role over the last two seasons, Hargrove has flourished so far as a starter. The Cleveland native has 30 tackles and a sack over the first two games. He had his best game against Army with a career-high 13 tackles (9 solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
JJ is OK
Jordan Johnson earned the start at running back against Albany in the opener and rushed for 114 yards on 23 carries. It was his fourth career start. He has rushed for 100+ yards in three of his six career starts. The senior running back rushed for 811 yards on 172 carries for a 4.7 yards per carry average last year. He had a knack for finding the endzone in 2015, scoring 12 rushing touchdowns. He tied for sixth in school history for a single season, four shy of the school record. Johnson is 86 yards shy of entering the top 10 in school history in career rushing yards.
In a Rush
The Bulls rushed for over 200 yards in each of their first two games of the season and are averaging 181 yards per game. This is well above their average from a season ago (137). This is due in large part to the mobility of quarterback Tyree Jackson who is second on the team in rushing with 181 yards. He already has the most rushing yards by a UB quarterback since Alex Zordich rushed for 501 yards in 2012.
Sophomore running back Johnathan Hawkins is developing into a formidable compliment to starting running back Jordan Johnson. The Georgia native continues to improve, averaging 44 yards per game rushing and has added a reception in each game as well, including five in the last two games. He has rushed for 131 yards on 27 carries on the season. His 4.9 yards per carry average is tops among UB running backs.
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.