BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Bulls took a months-worth of frustration out on Akron, beating the Zips, 55-24, at UB Stadium on Tuesday night. The 55 points were the most scored by a UB team against a MAC opponent since joining the conference in 1999.
The Bulls (4-6, 2-4 MAC) rolled up 536 yards of total offense against the MAC's top scoring defense – the most allowed by Akron this season. The UB defense, meanwhile, was equally as strong, holding the Zips to a season-low 229 yards of total offense.
BIG NIGHT FOR LICATA, TAYLOR
Joe Licata rebounded nicely from his tough outing last week to pass for 193 yards and four touchdowns. The junior signal-caller now has 56 career touchdown passes, breaking UB Hall-of-Famer Drew Willy's previous school record of 52.
It was also a big night for Anthone Taylor. The junior running back ran for 178 yards on 32 carries and scored a touchdown. He went over 1,000 yards for the season, joining former UB greats Branden OIiver and James Starks as just the third UB running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau in a single season.
The game got off to a very inauspicious start for the Bulls as the Zips recorded a pick six on the second play of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Deandre Scott stepped in front of a pass to the sideline and took it to the house.
UB’s early problems continued as it fumbled the ball away on its next possession, as well.
However, the Bulls bounced back, and with 4:59 left in the first quarter, Jordan Johnson pulled off a terrific fake to find Matt Weiser for a 33-yard touchdown and tie the game at seven. On the Bulls' next possession, UB grabbed the lead for good when Licata hit Devin Campbell on a 6-yard slant for a touchdown.
BULLS UNVEIL TWO QB SYSTEM
For the first time this season, the Bulls utilized a two-quarterback system, and it seemed to confuse the Zips. Tony Daniel, a gifted running quarterback, scored the Bulls third touchdown of the night when he scampered to the end zone from 21 yards out to give the Bulls a 21-7 lead.
After Akron kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 21-10, the Bulls mounted an impressive 60-yard drive in the closing stages of the half. Licata hooked up with Jacob Martinez on a 17-yard touchdown to give the Bulls a 27-10 lead with just 15 seconds left in the half.
ZIPS COMEBACK ATTEMPT
Akron scored on its opening drive of the second half to make the score 27-14. Cody Grice capped a 16-play, 75-yrd drive with a one-yard run.
The Bulls, however, quickly responded to the Akron threat when Licata found Ron Willoughby for a 42-yard touchdown on UB's ensuing possession to regain a 17-point advantage.
On the very first play of Akron's next drive, Tedroy Lynch forced a fumble that was recovered by Branden Crawford. The Bulls capitalized just one play later when Licata found a wide-open Campbell for a 24-yard touchdown pass to put the Bulls ahead, 41-17, with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
The Bulls capped the night's scoring with a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first was a 6-yard run by Taylor and the final score was a 16-yard run by Johnson.
Johnson, a sophomore running back, ran for a career-high 104 yards in the game. As a team, the Bulls rushed for a season-high 310 yards.
REDDEN LEADS BULLS DEFENSE
UB's defense was led by Adam Redden, who had nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Jarrett Franklin had six tackles, including a career-best three for loss.
"Our defense did a great job. I thought our special teams did a great job. I think we won all three phases of the game tonight and we played and finished for 60 minutes, which is important," Wood said. "That's what we talked about in preparation. That's what we've been talking about, not just this past week, but since we've been here and we got it done tonight."
The Bulls will play their final home game of the season next Wednesday night when they host Kent State at UB Stadium.
Akron, which has now dropped four straight, will finish its home campaign next Tuesday when it hosts UMass.
(Courtesy of Akron Athletics/MRO Edit)