Bulls Earn First-Ever Win at Ball State to Keep Bowl Eligibility Hopes Alive

Ball State game

MUNCIE, IN – The University at Buffalo football team won at Ball State for the first time in school history, 40-24, on Thursday night. The win improved the Bulls' record to 5-6, keeping their hopes of being bowl eligible alive.

UB quarterback Tyree Jackson threw for 350 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the game to become the first quarterback in school history to throw for 300 yards in three straight games.

His favorite target was Anthony Johnson who had seven catches for 153 yards and tied a school record with four receiving touchdowns. The junior wideout had touchdown grabs of 21, 14, 11 and 56 yards. He tied Chris D'Amico (1983) and Alex Neutz (2012) for the record.

UB piled up 565 yards of total offense – their second straight game of 550+ yards of offense. Along with 350 yards passing, the Bulls rolled up 215 yards rushing. Emmanuel Reed had 123 yards on the ground for his fifth 100-yard game of the season. Theo Anderson nearly reached the century mark as well with 91 yards, including a career-long 45-yard scamper.

The 153 yards by Anthony Johnson brought his season total to 1,201, good for second in school history for a single season. Antonio Nunn posted his first career 100-yard receiving game and did so on just two catches. The redshirt-freshman had grabs of 45 and 57 yards.

Buffalo never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 16-0 lead. After taking a 23-10 halftime lead, the Bulls marched right down the field on their first possession of the second half and took a 30-10 lead on a 16-yard touchdown run by K.J. Osborn.

The Cardinals could get no closer than 13 points and the Bulls were able to silence all of their threats.

"I thought offensively we did a lot of good things," head coach Lance Leipold said. "We had the answer when the momentum shifted. We had a balanced offensive attack tonight which we've always been striving to get to. This was a big road win and an important win for our program."

Chuck Harris led the UB defense with a career-high 13 tackles and a sack in the game. Khalil Hodge had 12 tackles in the game, including 1.5 for loss. The junior linebacker upped his season tackle total to 141 and moved into fourth in school history for a single season.

Ryan Williamson had his team-best third interception of the year to go along with six tackles.

Sitting at 5-6, it all comes down to next week for a chance to be bowl eligible. A win against Ohio and the Bulls will be bowl eligible for just the third time in school history. Buffalo will host the Bobcats at UB Stadium at 1 pm next Friday.