AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo football team suffered another heartbreaking defeat, dropping a 21-20 decision at Akron on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls (3-6, 1-4 MAC) have now lost four Mid-American Conference games by a total of 15 points.
Tyree Jackson was under center for the Bulls for the first time since suffering an injury against Florida Atlantic and missing the last four games. The sophomore quarterback responded by throwing for a career-high 315 yards. His completions (34) and attempts (50) were also career highs.
Having Jackson back seemed to spark the offense as they rolled up 459 yards of total offense on the day. UB also seemed to get its running game back on track. Emmanuel Reed rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
The Bulls struck first in the game on a Reed 2-yard touchdown run, capping a 6-play, 80-yard drive. The Zips answered right back with a touchdown to tie the game, 7-7, late in the first quarter.
Adam Mitcheson made a 37-yard field goal to put the Bulls ahead 10-7 with 12:17 left in the half. After Akron scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass with 4:50 left in the half to take a 14-10 lead, Mitcheson connected again, this time from 36 yards out, to cut the Akron advantage to 14-13 at the break.
The Bulls took the lead back, 20-14, early in the fourth quarter on Reed 's second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out. However, a 36-yard Akron touchdown pass gave the Zips the lead, 21-20, with 4:46 left.
On UB's ensuing possession, the Bulls were able to drive the ball down to the Akron 29. However, Mitcheson's 46-yard field goal, to give the Bulls the lead with 1:51 left, was pulled wide to the left, allowing the Zips to escape with the victory.
"It's disappointing," head coach Lance Leipold said. "We had opportunities, but we didn't make the plays when we needed to. We need to find a way to close the gap and start to pull these games out."
Jackson's 34 completions were two shy of the school record. His favorite target was Kamathi Holsey who had seven catches for 100 yards in the game. Anthony Johnson and K.J. Osborn each had six receptions for the Bulls.
Defensively, the Bulls held Akron to only 81 yards rushing, including only three through the first three quarters. Tim Roberts had six tackles, an interception and a pass breakup of the Bulls. Justin Brandon had a pair of tackles for loss.
The Bulls will return home on November 7 to host Bowling Green.