Bulls Back on the Road to Face Akron on Saturday

Harris/Harris

               

Buffalo (3-5, 1-3 MAC) at Akron (4-4, 3-1 MAC)
October 28, 2017
InfoCision Stadium - 11:30 am

Bulls on the Air

Radio

Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280

Television

CBS Sports Network

Storylines

• Buffalo trails the all-time series with Akron, 10-6.

• The Bulls have averaged 42 points per game in their last four meetings with Akron, including scoring 50+ points twice (55 in 2014, 51 in 2011) 

• Buffalo is in search of its first win at InfoCision Stadium (0-2). The Bulls last win at Akron came in 2008 at the Zips' previous home, the Rubber Bowl.

• Buffalo's five losses this season are by a total of 28 points. Their three MAC losses are by a total of 14 points.

• After averaging 24 pass attempts over the first five games of the season, the Bulls have averaged 45 pass attempts over the last three games. 

Khalil Hodge leads the nation in tackles, averaging 14.4 tackles per game. He has had four games of 17+ tackles this season (20 at Minnesota/17 vs. FAU/18 vs. Western Michigan/19 vs. Northern Illinois).

Khalil Hodge is 10 tackles shy of UB's FBS-era record for tackles in a single season. The record of 125 was set by Justin Winters in 2008 over 14 games.

Anthony Johnson leads the MAC and ranks fourth in the nation in receiving yards with 827 on the season.

Kyle Vantrease is the first true freshman QB to start for Buffalo since Drew Willy in 2005.
 

Bulls Back on the Road to Face Akron on Saturday
The University at Buffalo football team will play its second straight road game when it travels to Akron on Saturday.       

The Bulls are 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the MAC and are coming off a 24-14 loss at Miami (OH) last Saturday. True freshman quarterback Kyle Vantrease started for the Bulls and threw for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

Akron is 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the MAC and is coming off a 48-21 loss at Toledo last Saturday. The Zips are led by quarterback Thomas Woodson who has thrown for 1,456 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

Akron leads the all-time series, 10-6. The Bulls won the last meeting, 41-20, at UB Stadium last season.

Hodge Ball
Khalil Hodge leads the MAC and the nation in tackles, averaging 14.4 tackles per game.

Hodge is one of only two players in the nation with over 100 tackles on the season (115). He has 39 more tackles than the player ranked second in the MAC. 

The junior linebacker already has four games with over 17 tackles - 20 vs. Minnesota, 17 vs. FAU, 18 vs. Western Michigan and 19 vs. Northern Illinois.  

Against Minnesota, the junior linebacker recorded a career-high 20 tackles. It was the most tackles in a game by a UB player since Davonte Shannon had 20 against Army in 2008.

Twice this season, Hodge has been named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week - on Sept. 4 and Oct. 16.

Last season, Hodge had 123 tackles – the eighth-most in school history for a single season. He ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 10.25 tackles per game. Hodge was an All-MAC Second Team selection in 2016.

QB Shuffle
Injuries forced head coach Lance Leipold to start his third different quarterback at Miami (OH) last week. True freshman Kyle Vantrease made his first career start last week, becoming the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Bulls since Drew Willy in 2005. Vantrease went 12-for-41 for 202 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the RedHawks.

Tyree Jackson began the season as the Bulls' starter and threw for 733 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 227 yards and four more scores in four games before getting injured against Florida Atlantic.

Drew Anderson made three starts before getting hurt during the Northern Illinois game. He threw for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdowns during his time under center.

You have to go back to 2004 for the last time UB started three different quarterbacks in a single season. P.J. Piskorik (5 games), Randall Secky (4 games) and Chris Moore (2 games) all started for the Bulls in 2004. 

Big Play Bulls
Through eight games, the Bulls have recorded 13 plays of 45 or more yards. This is a stark difference from a season ago when Buffalo had only five plays of 45+ yards all year.

What's more, the plays have been coming from a number of different players. The 13 45+-yard plays have come from nine different players.        

Junior wide receiver Anthony Johnson has played a major role in this as he has made a big play in four different games. He had a 50-yard catch at Minnesota, a 52-yard catch at Army, a 46-yard grab against Colgate, a 53-yard catch against Western Michigan and a 47-yard reception against Northern Illinois.

AJ Can Play
Anthony Johnson is only eight games into his career at Buffalo, but is already being mentioned in the same breath as some of UB's all-time greats. Johnson leads the Bulls with 49 catches for 827 yards and six touchdowns. His yardage total leads the MAC and ranks fourth in the nation.

He has already had two 11-catch games on the season. He is just the second player in school history with multiple games of 11+ catches. Drew Haddad (1996-99) had three games with 11+ catches over his four-year career.

Johnson has three games of 140+ receiving yards already this season.

Off to a Good Start
A season ago, the Bulls scored a total of 10 points in the first quarter of games. This year, Buffalo has gotten off to much better starts, scoring in the first quarter in all but one game so far. The Bulls have scored a total of 68 points in the first quarter of games this season.

The Bulls are averaging 8.5 points in the first quarter of games this year. They have posted first-quarter points in seven of eight games this season and have scored at least 14 points in the first quarter in three of the last six games. 

Against Colgate, UB scored 20 points in the first quarter, the most it scored in the first quarter of a game since scoring 21 at Temple in 2007. 

Oh, What A Night
Buffalo's game vs. Western Michigan will go down as one of the most memorable games in UB football history. The Broncos defeated the Bulls, 71-68, in seven overtimes.

Here are a few numbers from that record-setting night.
    • Total elapsed time: 4:31   
    • The 139 combined points were the most in FBS history
    • The score was 40-37 after regulation ended and would have been the 7th-highest-scoring game in the nation, just on overtime points alone.
    • 19 touchdowns scored by both teams
    • 10 lead changes, counting overtime
    • Buffalo's 9 TDs were the most in school history
    • 683 total yards of offense were the most in school history
    • UB had four pass plays of 53 yards or longer
    • Buffalo's 68 points were the most in NCAA history by a losing team.

Have A Day, Drew
Drew Anderson had one of the finest games in not only school history, but ever in the Mid-American Conference. The junior signal-caller threw for a school-record 597 yards and seven touchdowns and added another touchdown on the ground in a 71-68 seven-overtime loss to Western Michigan on Oct. 7. Anderson's 597 passing yards were not only a school record, but also the most for a single game in MAC history. His seven touchdowns also tied the single-game MAC record. Anderson completed 35-of-61 pass attempts and didn't throw a single interception. The junior quarterback had four completions of 53 yards or more in the game and threw touchdown passes of 64, 8, 54, 5, 25, 4 and 27 yards. He also added a 2-yard touchdown run in the sixth overtime to extend the game.

Anderson was named the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week, one of the Manning Award Stars of the Week and a Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award's "Great 8" performer. 

Offensive Line Named to Joe Moore Award Mid-Season Watch List
Buffalo's offensive line has been impressive all season and has gotten better as the year has progressed. The Bulls have run 255 pass plays on the season and have only allowed 12 sacks.

The o-line was one of 16 teams named to the Joe Moore Award Mid-Season Watch List. It's an award given to the nation's best offensive line unit. In addition, PFF College Football lists UB center James O'Hagan as the nation's top center when it comes not allowing a quarterback pressure.

100 x 3
For the first time in school history the Bulls had three different players go over 100 yards receiving in the same game when they played Western Michigan on Oct. 7. Anthony Johnson had 11 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns; Kamathi Holsey had six receptions for 143 yards and a score and K.J. Osborn had seven catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

Reed All About It
Emmanuel Reed is having a breakout season for the Bulls. The sophomore running had three straight 100-yard rushing performances. He rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown against Colgate; 107 yards against Florida Atlantic and 144 yards and three scores at Kent State - the latter two were as a starter.

Reed was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance against Kent State.


Charles in Charge
Chuck Harris is making the most of his first season as a starter. The junior defensive end ranks fifth on the team in tackles with 45. He has easily surpassed his season total of 18 tackles over 12 games in 2016.

Harris has posted at least five tackles in seven of eight games this season. He had a career-high eight tackles at Army on Sept. 9. He has recorded a sack in two of the last four games.

Roberts Named Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy
Senior safety Tim Roberts has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation announced on Sept. 27. Considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman," the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Roberts is a social science interdisciplinary major with a 3.68 grade point average. A second-year starter for the Bulls, he ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 22, including a tackle for loss. For his career, Roberts has 94 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Of the 181 semifinalists, Roberts is one of 71 from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and one of eight from the Mid-American Conference.

A History of Running Backs
If he can keep up his current pace, Emmanuel Reed could be the next UB running back to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. The Bulls have featured 1,000-yard running backs in six of the last 10 seasons, including three of their last four. Prior to 2007, UB had only three 1,000-yard rushers in the history of the program.
 
Year, Player, Yards
2007, James Starks, 1,103
2008, James Starks, 1,333
2011, Branden Oliver, 1,395
2013, Branden Oliver, 1,535
2014, Anthone Taylor, 1,403
2016, Jordan Johnson, 1,040

O'Hagan Named to Rimington Trophy Watch List
James O'Hagan was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List. The award is giving annually to the nation's top center. This is the second straight year UB's junior center has been named to the watch list.
 
O'Hagan is coming off the best season of his career. He started all 12 games of 2016 and was named All-MAC Third Team. O'Hagan has been the anchor of the Bulls' offensive over the past two season, starting all 24 games. 

Mitch Perfect
Kicker Adam Mitcheson was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Special Teams Player of the Week after a solid performance in Buffalo's win over Florida Atlantic.
 
Mitcheson made both of his field goal attempts in the victory. The junior kicker made a 23-yarder as time expired in the first half to tie the game at 17. He then made a clutch 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. His season-long field goal extended the UB lead to 27-17 with 10:54 left in the game. Mitcheson was also a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points in the game.
 
Fake News
For the second straight season, the Bulls will play every game on artificial turf. Buffalo is one of 18 teams that will play all its games on artificial turf this season. Ohio State, Washington State, Kansas State, Wyoming, Utah State, Air Force, UNLV, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky, Charlotte, UT-San Antonio, Arkansas State, Idaho and Coastal Carolina will also play all of its games on turf.   
 
Bulls Add Grad Transfer from Cal
Defensive end Kennedy Emesibe has joined the team as a graduate transfer. Emesibe joined the Bulls after spending three seasons with the Cal Bears. Emesibe was a reserve defensive end for the Bears after a standout high school career in which he was ranked the 35th best defensive end in the nation his senior season.   
 
Team Captains Named
Five players were voted team captains for the 2017 season. Players voted senior wide receiver Jamarl Eiland, senior linebacker Jarrett Franklin, senior defensive end Demone Harris, junior linebacker Khalil Hodge and junior center James O'Hagan were voted captains for the upcoming season.
 
It's All Relative
The UB football team features a pair of players related to two of the top five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Junior wide receiver Anthony Johnson is the cousin of top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Junior linebacker Ledarius Mack is the younger brother of former UB All-American and fifth pick Khalil Mack.
 
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. The Bulls can also be heard on 1280 AM in Rochester.  
 
Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 18th year, and 10th consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Scott Wilson will serve as analyst after previously serving as sideline reporter. Brad Riter also returns as game host. 
 
Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan.
 
Peck hosts the UB Football Insider with Lance Leipold on Monday nights at 5:30 pm. The show air on ESPN 1520 and be broadcast live from the Santora's Transit Road location.