Buffalo (4-4, 2-2 MAC) at Kent State (3-5, 2-2 MAC)
November 5, 2015
Dix Stadium - 7:00 pm
Radio in Buffalo - 1520-AM WWKB
Radio in Rochester - 1280-AM WHTK
• The all-time series is tied 10-10. The Bulls have won five of the last seven meetings, including the last four at Dix Stadium.
• The Bulls have more wins at Dix Stadium (4) than any other stadium in the MAC since joining the conference in 1999.
• At 4-4, the Bulls are taking a .500 record into the month of November for just the third time as an FBS program (2008, 2013).
• Lance Leipold is the first UB head coach to win four games in his first season since Jim Ward went 4-6 in 1992. The last UB coach to win five games in his first season was Bob Deming who went 6-3 in 1969.
• Jordan Johnson rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first two starts. No UB player in the FBS era (since 1999) has rushed for over 100 yards in each of their first three starts.
• The Bulls lead the nation with six defensive touchdowns on the season.
• The last time the Bulls won consecutive MAC road games in consecutive weeks was at Miami (OH) and at Kent State in 2009.
• Ron Willoughby's next touchdown catch will be the 15th of his career and will tie him with Kali Watkins and Andre Forde for sixth in school history.
• Matt Weiser is six catches shy of the FBS-era school record for receptions by a tight end. Chad Bartoszek had 45 catches in 2002.
• Joe Licata's next touchdown pass will tie him with former Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs for 11th in MAC history.
• Boise Ross is tied for the national lead in passes defended, averaging 2.3 per game. He has two interceptions and 16 pass breakups. He already holds the school record for single-season passes defended with 18.
Bulls on the Road to Face Kent State
The Bulls will play at Kent State on Thursday for their second straight midweek road game.
The Bulls are 4-4 overall, 2-2 in the MAC and are coming off a 29-24 win at Miami (OH) last Saturday. Joe Licata threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Johnson rushed for 123 yards and two scores to pace the Bulls.
Kent State is 3-5 overall,2-2 in the MAC and is coming off a 48-0 loss to Bowling Green on October 24. The Golden Flashes defense is ranked second in the MAC, led by Terence Waugh who leads the MAC with nine sacks.
The all-time series is tied, 10-10. The Bulls won the last meeting, 41-21, at Dix Stadium in 2013.
JJ is OK
Jordan Johnson has made the most of his opportunity to start at running back for the Bulls. The junior running back rushed for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns against the Ohio in his first career start on October 24. He followed that up by rushing for 123 yards and two more scores at Miami (OH) last Thursday.
He is just the second running back in UB's FBS era to rush for 100 yards in each of his first two starts - joining teammate Anthone Taylor.
Johnson now leads the team in rushing with 575 yards and has scored seven touchdowns. He is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Leipold in Rare Company
With four wins on the season head coach Lance Leipold is the first UB head coach to win four games in his first season since Jim Ward went 4-6 in 1992. The last UB coach to win five games in his first season was Bob Deming who went 6-3 in 1969.
Matt Weiser has been named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List. Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee.
Weiser is having a breakout season for the Bulls. The Womelsdorf, PA native has 39 catches for 405 yards and a touchdown on the year. He had 29 catches over his first three seasons combined. Weiser had the best game by a tight end in school history against Nevada on September 26 with a career-high 10 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. It was the most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in school history. He was named the John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week following the game.
Weiser is the just the second UB tight end ever named to the John Mackey Award Watch List. Chad Bartoszek was named to the watch list in 2002. Bartoszek owns the Bulls FBS-era record for catches by a tight end with 45 in 2003.
Putting the D in TD
The Bulls lead the nation in defensive touchdowns with six. UB has four pick sixes and two fumble returns for touchdowns on the season. All six of Buffalo's defensive scores have come from six different players.
Licata and Grassman Named MAC East Players of the Week
Joe Licata and Tyler Grassman were named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively, the conference announced on Monday.
Licata finished 22-for-29 for 289 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in UB's 29-24 win at Miami (OH) on Thursday night. The senior signal caller connected with a season-high 10 different receivers in the game. He threw a season-long 78-yard touchdown pass to Ron Willoughby to give the Bulls a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. He later hit Willoughby on a 9-yard touchdown strike to give the Bulls a 29-17 lead in the third quarter. Licata's 76 percent completion percentage was the second best effort of his career.
Grassman had another strong game punting the football. The Columbus, OH native had six punts for 261 yards for a 43.5-yard average. His first punt of the game carried a career-best 68 yards. Grassman also handled kick off duties and three of his six kickoffs went for touchbacks.
Berry Good Linebacker
Brandon Berry began his career at UB as a safety. Due to injuries he has been moved to linebacker in 2015 and that move has paid dividends. The junior Detroit native ranks second on the team and ranks sixth in the MAC with 72 tackles. Earlier this season, he had double-digit tackles in five straight games to become just the second UB player to accomplish the feat in the Bulls FBS era (since 1999). J.J. Gibson did it in 2001.
Not Your Average Joe
Senior quarterback Joe Licata has picked up where he left off to start the season. He has thrown four touchdown passes on the season. He is completing 64 percent of his passes, including a career-high 77 percent completion percentage in the opener against Albany.
Licata enters his final season as the Bulls' signal caller. The local product already holds the school record for career touchdown passes with 70. He also ranks second in career passing yardage with 8,392. He is 356 yards shy of the school record of 8,748 yards held by Drew Willy (2005-08).
Licata has entered the top 20 in MAC history in career touchdown passes.
I'll Take That
The UB defense had four interceptions in the win over Ohio. It was the first time the Bulls had four interceptions in a game since having four against Western Michigan in 2012.
The team's nine interceptions are seven more than the Bulls had all of last season.
Like a Ross
Boise Ross started the 2014 campaign at wide receiver. He has since made the move to cornerback and it has paid dividends. In his first full season at corner, Ross has two interceptions and 16 pass breakups. He had a 39-yard pick six against Florida Atlantic on September 19. The junior from Bethlehem, PA is tied for the national lead in passes defended, averaging 2.3 per game and has already set a new school record for single-season passes defended.
The Kids Are Alright
Coach Leipold has given his young players a chance to play this season. So far this year, seven true freshmen and eight redshirt-freshmen have played in a game. Freshman Brandon Stanback has started three games at safety, Cameron Lewis (CB), Charles Harris (DE), Justin Brandon (DT), Duke Hwang (DT), Brandon Smiley (WR) and Johnathan Hawkins (RB) have also seen action as true freshmen.
Eight is Enough
Matt Weiser, Marcus McGill and Ron Willoughby each had eight catches against Bowling Green on Oct. 3. It was the first time in school history three different UB players had eight receptions in a game. Weiser had eight catches for 90 yards; McGill had a career-best eight catches for 88 yards and Willoughby had eight catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Ron Willoughby is coming off a breakout season for the Bulls. After registering only three catches as a sophomore in 2013, the senior wide receiver had 50 catches for 771 yards and nine touchdowns last season. For his efforts, the Ohio native earned third-team All-MAC accolades in 2014.
This season, Willoughby ranks second on the team in receiving with 37 catches for 511 yards and five touchdowns. He had eight catches for 80 yards and a score at Penn State; a career-best 10 catches for 122 yards against Nevada and eight catches for 73 yards against Bowling Green.
For the first time in school history, the Bulls had two different players record 10 catches in a game. Senior tight end Matt Weiser had 10 catches for 131 yards - both career highs. Senior wide receiver Ron Willoughby had 10 receptions for 122 yards against Nevada on September 26.
Martinez Ends Punt Return Drought
Jacob Martinez did something against Albany a UB punt return hadn't done since George W. Bush's first term, return a punt for a touchdown. Martinez returned a punt 86 yards to paydirt - the first punt returned for a touchdown since Andre Forde had an 83-yard punt return touchdown against Lehigh on Aug. 29, 2002. It was a span of 154 games and ended the longest drought in the FBS. Martinez was seven years old when Forde returned the last punt for a TD.
For his accomplishment, Martinez was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Special Teams Player of the Week.
Tyler Grassman Named a Semifinalist for the 2015 Campbell Trophy
Senior punter Tyler Grassman has been named a semifinalist for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy. Considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman," the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
A business administration major with a 3.80 grade point average, Grassman is a two-time Academic All- MAC selection and was a 2014 Capital One Academic All-District Football Team selection.
Bulls Get a Pair of Blazers That Fit
The UB football team gained a pair of new players from the University of Alabama Birmingham after the Blazers dropped the program following the 2014 season. Sophomore Collin Lisa is a wide receiver who played in two games as a true freshman at UAB. Redshirt-freshman Jordan Collier is a safety who redshirted as a freshman last season for the Blazers.
All You Need is Lovejoy
Lovejoy, GA is a town of 6,300 and Lovejoy High School had a graduating class of 406 in 2014. Now three members of that same high school class play on the UB defense. Cornerback Brandon Williams, defensive end Randy Anyanwu and safety Jordan Collier were all teammates on the same Lovejoy team before coming to UB.
The Name Game
UB defensive back Boise Ross' full name is DuBois Ross - named for W.E.B. Du Bois, founder of the NAACP. He has two brothers, Duke Ellington Ross, named for the legendary jazz musician and Langston Ross, named after a poet and social activist.