BUFFALO, NY --The Miami RedHawks shook off a flurry of offensive line injuries to build a 20-0 first half lead and got help from the defense all day to defeat Buffalo 35-24 Saturday at UB Stadium.
It was the fifth straight win for Miami (5-6, 4-1 MAC), which lost its first six games before embarking on its current win streak. A victory over Ball State in its season finale at home on Nov. 22 would make the RedHawks bowl eligible.
Buffalo, meanwhile, fell to 1-7 (1-4 MAC) with . . .
Jordan carried 29 times against Miami, netting 100 yards with one TD. Jonathan Hawkins and quarterback Tyree Jackson combined for 67 rushing yards and one score as the hosts totaled 187 yards on the ground.
However, a series of early Miami scores forced UB into playing catchup all day, and the Bulls were unable to score an offensive touchdown until two in the fourth quarter. The lone Buffalo touchdown prior to that came when defensive lineman Brandon Crawford stripped the ball from quarterback Gus Ragland and run it in for a touchdown with 5:02 remaining in the first half.
Ragland and the offense were operating behind an already injury-hit line that lost both tackles in pregame warmups.
“I said we didn’t handle adversity well earlier in the season,” head coach Chuck Martin said. “We did today.”
Crawford’s TD cut the Miami lead to 20-10 before intermission. The RedHawks had built their lead on two Gus Ragland touchdown throws and a Ragland TD run by 10:08 of the second quarter.
Ragland tucked the ball and ran for a seven-yard TD late in the quarter and then found Murphy again – this time on a 17-yard TD pass – at 10:03 of the second period..
The RedHawks offense, however, started to lose some steam after that, and Crawford’s defensive score breathed some life into the Bulls. They received the second half kickoff and marched to the MU 12 before settling for a 30-yard Adam Mitcheson field goal.
Miami made one first down before punting on its next drive. UB took over on its own 24. Two plays later, Miami points were going on the board, courtesy of De’Andre Montgomery. The sophomore stepped in front of a bubble screen pass to the sideline and ran the interception back 20 yards for a score that put the visitors up 26-10.
Buffalo took the ensuing possession and began a steady march down the field. The Bulls had covered driven into the Miami red zone before committing to costly miscues. The first was a holding penalty that wiped out an apparent touchdown by run around the left side by Jonathan Hawkins, Still, the Bulls had a third and goal at the Miami three when they fumbled the football.
Already up 35-10, Miami added a 20-yard Dowd field goal at 9:57 of the final stanza.
Rohach came in at quarterback for Buffalo and the Bulls found put up two touchdowns over the final 6:15.
Robach completed 9 of 13attempts for 97 yards. Jackson was good on 12 of 27 for 96 yards with one interception. Tight end Mason Schreck led all receivers with 10 catches for 89 yards.
Ragland completed 7 of 14 passes on the day, good for 105 yards and two scores. He also netted 45 yards rushing after two sacks and fumbled once.
Alonzo Smith led Miami rushers with 91 yards on seven carries, with a long of 70 yards that set up the RedHawks second touchdown. Spencer McInnis carried 11 times, netting 45 yards and scoring one TD.
Murphy was the only Miami receiver with more than one catch. He had two, with both going for touchdowns.
Buffalo owned a 380-309 advantage in total yards