Monday, December 5, 2022

CFB Week 9 Previews: Mid-American Conference

Week 9 Mid-American Conference

Sat., Oct. 30 @ 12:00 pm ET
Bowling Green Falcons at Buffalo Bulls

Bowling Green Falcons

OPENING KICK
FALCONS SOAR TO UPSTATE NEW YORK
• Bowling Green State University returns to the road on Saturday to face the Buffalo Bulls in MACtion. It is BGSU’s final Saturday game of the 2021 season.

• It is the 19th meeting between the Falcons and the Bulls and just the fourth meeting in Buffalo prior to the month of November. The 2000, 2005 and 2015 seasons are the other years.

BOWLING GREEN VS. BUFFALO

• Bowling Green continues Mid-American Conference action on Saturday at Buffalo.

• BGSU leads the all-time series with UB, 11-7, who has been in the MAC since 2000.

• Bowling Green is 4-1 against UB when the Falcons hold the Bulls below 300 yards of total offense.

• Bowling Green is 9-3 against UB when the Falcons accumulate 350+ yards of total offense.

• Bowling Green is 4-1 against UB when the Falcons win the turnover battle. They are 4-4 when they don’t.

FIVE TOP STORYLINES
• PK Nate Needham is 14-of-14 on field goal attempts this season. He is one of nine FBS players who is perfect on the year, but his 14 made field goals ranks No. 1 in the nation among those who are perfect. A perfect 9-of-9, he leads the nation with nine field goals from 40+ yards.

• LB Darren Anders is the only player in the nation this season with 70+ tackles (79), 7.0+ tackles for loss (7.5), 1+ fumble recoveries (1) and 1+ interceptions (1). Anders currently ranks tied for No. 8 in the nation and tied for No. 1 in the MAC with 9.9 tackles per game. He shares the top spot in the MAC with Buffalo’s James Patterson.

• LB Brock Horne and LB Anders are one of two duos in the nation from the same team with each player recording 53+ tackles, 1+ sacks and 1+ interceptions, joining Ball State’s Clayton Coll and Bryce Cosby.

• S Davon Ferguson is the only player in the nation with 60+ tackles (68), 2.0+ sacks (2) and 4.0+ passes defended (4). In BGSU records dating back to 2000, he and Dwayne Woods are the only Falcon to reach these numbers through the first eight games of the season. He is No. 1 in the MAC and No. 14 in the nation with 5.6 solo tackles per game.

• SS Sy Dabney has blocked two punts this season (Murray State and Akron). He ranks No. 1 in the nation with two blocked kicks. He is one of eight in the nation that shares the top spot and the only player in the MAC.

UB SERIES NOTES

LAST MEETING AT UB STADIUM
• Buffalo and Bowling Green met in the 2019 season finale with the Bulls coming away with a 49-7 victory.

• UB running back Jaret Patterson rushed 26 times for 298 yards and six touchdowns in the victory.

• Jordan Anderson led the Falcons with 12 tackles in defeat.

THE 2013 MEETING IN ORCHARD PARK
• The 2013 meeting took place at the Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium. BGSU took home a 24-7 win to clinch a spot in the MAC Championship game.

• BGSU shut down the Buffalo offense, holding the Bulls to 236 yards of offense. UB entered the game having won eight of previous nine games, but the Falcons kept the Bulls to just one second quarter touchdown, the team’s lowest scoring output of the year. Most notably, running back Braden Oliver was smothered, rushing for just 46 yards, 123 below his average in conference play entering the game.

BGSU VS. BUFFALO • SERIES HISTORY

„BG leads, 11-7 • In Bowling Green: Series tied, 4-4 • In Buffalo: BG leads, 6-3 • at Neutral Site: BG leads, 1-0
„Longest BG win streak: 6 (2011-2016) • Longest UB win Streak: 4 (2017-2020) • Largest BG Victory: 35 (35-0, 2001)
Season Site BG Coach W/L/T Score BG Rank BUFF Coach Opp. Rank
2000 Buffalo Gary Blackney L 17-20 NR Craig Cirbus NR
2001 BGSU Urban Meyer W 35-0 NR Jim Hofher NR
2005 Buffalo Gregg Brandon W 27-7 NR Jim Hofher NR
2006 BGSU Gregg Brandon W 48-40 NR Turner Gill NR
2007 Buffalo Gregg Brandon W 31-17 NR Turner Gill NR
2008 BGSU Gregg Brandon L 34-40 NR Turner Gill NR
2009 Buffalo Dave Clawson W 30-29 NR Turner Gill NR
2010 BGSU Dave Clawson L 26-28 NR Jeff Quinn NR
2011 Buffalo Dave Clawson W 42-28 NR Jeff Quinn NR
2012 Columbus Dave Clawson W 21-7 NR Jeff Quinn NR
2013 Buffalo Dave Clawson W 24-7 NR Jeff Quinn NR
2014 BGSU Dino Babers W 36-35 NR Jeff Quinn NR
2015 Buffalo Dino Babers W 28-22 NR Lance Leipold NR
2016 BGSU Mike Jinks W 27-19 NR Lance Leipold NR
2017 Buffalo Mike Jinks L 28-38 NR Lance Leipold NR
2018 BGSU Carl Pelini L 14-44 NR Lance Leipold NR
2019 Buffalo Scot Loeffler L 7-49 NR Lance Leipold NR
2020 BGSU Scot Loeffler L 17-42 NR Lance Leipold NR

LAST MEETING • 2020

Buffalo 42, Bowling Green 17
Nov. 17, 2020 • Bowling Green, Ohio
Last Meeting
Led by Jaret Patterson, Buffalo rolled up nearly 400 yards on the ground, and the Bulls scored six rushing touchdowns en route to a 42- 17 win over the Bowling Green State University football the last time these teams met.

Patterson gained 301 yards in 31 carries, scoring four times, while Kevin Marks, Jr., added 90 yards on the ground for the visitors. UB had just one more first down than the Falcons in the game, and BGSU ran 11 more offensive plays than the Bulls. But, the visitors scored touchdowns on three of four first-half drives to take a 21-3 lead into the intermission.

BGSU moved the ball into UB territory on seven of 10 drives on the night, but came up scoreless after reaching the red zone on two of those drives. The Falcons put together seven drives of 44 yards or more, including five drives of at least 50 yards, and scored touchdowns on a pair of fourth-quarter drives. Redshirt junior Andrew Clair ran for 85 yards to lead the Falcons, while freshman Terion Stewart had 42 yards on the ground. Stewart cored two touchdowns for the second consecutive game. Redshirt junior Matt McDonald was 17-of-27 for 219 yards through the air, with redshirt sophomore Julian Ortega-Jones catching six passes for 67 yards.

Buffalo Bulls

STORYLINES
• Buffalo is in search of its third straight win.

• The Bulls have won the last four meetings with Bowling Green and have averaged 43 points per game over those four contests.

• The Bulls had a program-best 11 sacks in their last game against Akron.

• Buffalo ranks seventh nationally in sacks (29) and fourth nationally in sacks allowed (4).

• After only throwing 2 touchdown passes over the first 5 games, Kyle Vantrease has thrown 6 in the last 3 games.

• Dylan McDuffie has rushed for 100+ yards in each of the last 2 games and has scored a touchdown in 5 of the last 6 games.

• 22 of Buffalo’s 31 offensive touchdowns this season have come on the ground. The Bulls lead the MAC and are tied for eighth in the nation in rushing touchdowns.

• Kevin Marks is one rushing touchdown shy of tying James Starks (2006-08) for second in school history with 34.

• Kevin Marks is 11 yards shy of becoming just the sixth player in program history to rush for 3,000 career yards.

• The Bulls have only allowed 75 yards passing in each of the last two games.

• The Bulls have held fourth-quarter leads in six of their eight games this season

Bulls Host Bowling Green on Saturday in Search of Third Straight Win
The University at Buffalo football team will look to win their third consecutive game when they host Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon. Buffalo is 4-4 overall, 2-2 in the MAC \and is coming off a 45-10 win over Akron last Saturday. Defensive end Kyler Laing led the Bulls with a program-record 3.5 sacks.

Bowling Green is 2-6 overall, 0-4 in MAC play and is coming off a 55-24 loss to Eastern Michigan last Saturday. The Falcons are led by quarterback Matt McDonald who has thrown for 1,864 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season.

Bowling Green leads the all-time series, 11-7. The Bulls won the last meeting, 42-17, at Doyt Perry Stadium last season.

Sack Party
The Bulls had a program-record 11 sacks against Akron last week. It bested the previous record of 8 set against Massachusetts in 2012. Seven different Bulls registered a sack, led by Kyler Laing who had a team-record 3.5 sacks in the game. It was the most sacks in a game by any team in the nation this season. The Bulls now have 29 sacks on the year to lead the MAC and their 3.6 sacks per game average ranks 7th in the nation.

Clubber Laing
Sophomore defensive end Kyler Laing had the best game of his career against Akron last Saturday. He broke the program record for sacks in a game with 3.5. The previous record of 3 sacks was held by 4 players including All-American linebacker Khalil Mack. Laing is now tied for the team lead in sacks with 4.5 and tackles for loss with 7.5. He has 6.5 sacks in 14 career games.

Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
Buffalo and top-ranked Georgia are the only two teams to rank in the top 10 in the nation in sacks and sacks allowed. The Bulls rank 7th in sacks (29) and 4th in sacks allowed (4). Georgia ranks 10th in sacks and 5th in sacks allowed.

Stepping on the Gassett
Freshman wide receiver Jamari Gassett is stepping up to be a viable weapon in the Bulls’ passing game. The young speedster had his best game last week against Akron, hauling in 4 catches for 95 yards and his first career touchdown. He added an 8-yard rush. He is coming into his own lately. After having only one catch over the first 4 games, he has 10 receptions over the last 4 games, including 3 catches against Ohio and 4 against Akron. He ranks third on the team in receiving with 11 catches for 167 yards.

Walk-Off Winners
UB kicker Alex McNulty drilled a 26- yard field goal, with no time left on the clock, to lift the Bulls to a 27-26 win over Ohio last Saturday. Buffalo trailed the
entire game before McNulty made the game-winner. It was Buffalo’s first walk-off win since 2016 when Adam Mitcheson hit a 33- yard field goal in overtime to beat Army.

Remember the Tight Ends
Tight ends have been utilized much more over the last 2 games. In its wins over Ohio and Akron, UB’s tight ends combined for 12 receptions and 2 touchdowns. Over the first 6 games of the season, UB tight ends had a total of 8 catches. In addition, UB tight ends have registered 3 touchdown receptions in the last games. Tyler Stephens and Trevor Borland each had one against Ohio and Jake Molinich had one at Kent State. The 3 touchdowns are one shy of the 4 touchdown grabs tight ends caught over the entire 2019 and 2020 campaigns.

McDuffie Coming into his Own
Running back Dylan McDuffie is enjoying the best season of his career. The junior running back has rushed for 600 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season – both team highs. He has already surpassed his rushing total of his first three seasons combined (225). McDuffie has scored a rushing touchdown in six of the eight games this season. McDuffie made the first start of his career against Ohio on Oct. 16 and responded by rushing for a career-best 143 yards and a touchdown. He was named
the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. He followed that up with a 108-yard, 2 touchdown performance against Akron.

Red Zone Defense
The Bulls have buckled down on defense once the opposition has gotten into the red zone. Opponents have scored only 23 of the 34 times they have entered the red zone. The 67.6 percent red zone defense not only leads the MAC, but ranks 9th in the nation.

Utilizing the Running Backs
in the Passing Game This season, UB’s running backs have been utilized much more in the passing game. Running backs have combined for 30 receptions for 205 yards. This is in stark contrast from a season ago when running backs combined for 5 catches the entire season. Ron Cook ranks third on the team with 16 receptions.

Getting the Offense Going
Against Kent State, the Bulls rolled up 549 yards of total offense. They did so by running 99 plays, the most they’ve ever run as an FBS program (since 1999). UB kicked it into gear in the second half as they ran 56 plays for 402 yards. They scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions of the second half against the Golden Flashes.

Neon Quian
There were a lot of question marks surrounding the wide receiver position entering the 2021 campaign. Enter Quian Williams – a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Williams ranks fourth in the MAC in receptions (44) and sixth in receiving yards (590). He was the fastest UB receiver to reach 30 catches since Ron Willoughby had 30 catches in the first five games of the 2015 season. He had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games with six catches for 119 yards against Western Michigan and nine grabs for 134 yards against Old Dominion. In two seasons at Eastern Michigan, Williams had 76 catches for 983 yards and eight touchdowns.

Elite Eight
James Patterson continues to be a standout linebacker for the Bulls. He leads UB and the MAC in tackles with 79. He is the fastest Bull to reach 50 tackles (5 games) in a season since Khalil Hodge had 67 tackles over the first five games of the 2018 campaign. Patterson had a forced fumble against Old Dominion to bring his career total to seven – tied for second in program history. Former All-American Khalil Mack holds the program record as well as NCAA record with 16 career forced
fumbles.

On Your Marks
UB running back Kevin Marks is in his first season as the Bulls’ starting running back after splitting time with All-American Jaret Patterson over the last three seasons. Despite only starting 10 games over his career, Marks ranks sixth in program history in career rushing yards with 2,989 – 34 yards shy of passing Alan Bell (1989-92) for fifth place. He ranks third in program history in career rushing touchdowns with 33 – one shy of tying James Starks for second. Marks was an All-MAC Third Team selection in 2020.

Johnson Stepping Up
Since making the move from quarterback to wide receiver prior to the 2019 season, Dominic Johnson is enjoying his best season at his new position. Johnson was originally recruited as a quarterback and played the position from 2016-18. But with a crowded quarterback room, the athletic Johnson was given the opportunity to get on the field as a wide receiver. Against Coastal Carolina, the sixth-year senior had six catches for 66 yards – both career highs. His six receptions were one more than he had all of last season. He is the Bulls’ second leading receiver with 22 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown. His 22 receptions are 12 more than the total from his first two seasons playing the position.

Winning Ways
Since the 2017 season, the Bulls have more wins than any other school in the Mid-American Conference. Buffalo has 34 wins over that span. Toledo is second with 32 followed by Western Michigan which has 29.

Linebacker U
UB has had a number of standout linebackers in recent years, most notably Khalil Mack who was an All-American and now an NFL All-Pro. The Bulls have had 12 linebackers named All-MAC over the last 10 years, including each of the last 10 seasons. Buffalo has two All-MAC linebackers on its current roster. James Patterson
was named to the first team in 2020 and Kadofi Wright was a second team selection in 2019. Rounding out the list are Khalil Hodge (2018, 2017, 2016), Brandon Berry
(2015), Okezie Alozie (2015), Lee Skinner (2014), Adam Redden (2014), Khalil Mack (2013, 2012, 2011).

Back for a Sixth Year
The Bulls have six players on the roster who took advantage of their extra year of eligibility due to Covid and are playing their sixth year. Offensive linemen Jake Fuzak and Jack Klenk, tight end Jake Molinich, wide receiver Dominic Johnson, linebacker Kadofi Wright and defensive end Taylor Riggins are all in their sixth
year. To quote Fuzak; “We are playing under our third president.”

International Flavor
The Bulls have six international players on this year’s roster. Buffalo has four players who hail from Canada, including Dominic Johnson (Ontario), Cole Burniston (Ontario), Gabe Wallace (BC) and Deondre Doiron (Ontario). In addition, the Bulls have two players from Europe, Fabian Weitz (Germany) and Alain Schaerer (Switzerland).

Klenk Named Campbell Trophy Nominee
Sixth-year offensive lineman Jack Klenk is a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Given annually to college football’s top student-athlete, the Campbell Trophy is also known as the Academic Heisman. Klenk graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in communication and social science interdisciplinary. He posted a 3.823 grade point average. He is a currently working towards a masters degree in real estate development. He is a two-time Academic All-MAC selection and earned the Mid-American Conference Medal of Excellence in 2021.

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