With the score tied 14-all midway through the fourth quarter. Rush found Titus Davis on a seven-yard touchdown strike that proved to be the difference in a defensive battle.
Central Michigan came into UB Stadium boasting the top defense in the league, and that defense stepped up again in a tight contest. The Chippewas held the Bulls to just 38 yards rushing and Anthone Taylor, ranked 10th in the nation in rushing heading into the game, was limited to a season-low 25 yards.
Central Michigan jumped out to a 14-0 lead and seemed in control of the game. The Chippewas were driving deep into UB territory late in the first half, looking to add to their lead, when senior safety Adam Redden came up with a play that changed the feel of the game. Redden stripped the ball loose on a quarterback sack and recovered it himself.
The Bulls capitalized by marching 67 yards for a score. Joe Licata found Ron Willoughby on a 28-yard touchdown pass to cut the CMU lead to 14-7 at the half.
Devin Campbell wasted little time capitalizing on the UB momentum as he returned the opening kickoff of the second half all the way to the Central Michigan 23-yard line. Three plays later, Licata hit Malcolm Robinson for a six-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14.
There would be no further scoring until Central Michigan mounted an impressive 98-yard touchdown drive that took nine and half minutes off the clock. The seven-yard touchdown pass gave CMU the lead for good, 20-14, with 8:08 remaining in the game.
Buffalo had two different opportunities to score the go-ahead touchdown, but the Central Michigan defense thwarted both drives.
Lee Skinner had a career-high 16 tackles, including 2.5 for loss as UB had its best defensive day in MAC play. Adam Redden had 10 tackles, 3.5 for loss and two of the Bulls' season-high five sacks on the day. Witney Sherry had a career-high 15 tackles and an interception for the Bulls.
Offensively, Licata threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. The junior signal-caller moved past Joe Freedy (1998-01) for fourth in school history in career passing yardage with 5,994 yards.
Buffalo (3-5, 1-3 MAC) will next play at Ohio on Nov. 5. Central Michigan travels to Eastern Michigan next Saturday (1 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy UB and CMU Athletics)