Bulls Host Colgate in the Home Opener on Saturday

Bulls Host Colgate in the Home Opener on Saturday

               

Buffalo (0-2, 0-0 MAC) vs. Colgate (1-1, 0-0 Patriot)
September 16, 2017
UB Stadium - 6:00 pm

Bulls on the Air

Radio

Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280

Television

Storylines

• Colgate leads the all-time series vs. Buffalo, 8-7.

• This is the first meeting between the teams since 2003, a game the Raiders won, 38-15, at UB Stadium.

• Buffalo and Colgate first met in 1898. The Bulls won the game, 23-0.

• The Bulls have won six of their last seven home openers.

Khalil Hodge leads the nations in tackles, averaging 15.5 per game.

• If Khalil Hodge can rack up double-digit tackles against Colgate, he would become the first UB player since J.J. Gibson in 2004 to amass double-digit tackles in each of the first three games of the season.

Tyree Jackson's 75-yard touchdown run at Army was the longest run by a UB quarterback in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999). The previous long was 68 yards by Chazz Anderson at Tennessee in 2011.

• Buffalo ranks first in the MAC and 15th in the nation in pass defense, allowing 128 yards per game.

• The Bulls already have four plays of 48+ yards through two games this season.

• Buffalo is predicted to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference East Division.
 
Bulls Host Colgate in the Home Opener
 
The University at Buffalo football team finally returns to UB Stadium to host Colgate in the home opener on Saturday after two hard-fought road games.       
   
The Bulls are coming off a 21-17 loss at Army last Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Tyree Jackson accounted for 236 total yards as he rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown and passed for 193 yards and another score.
 
Colgate, ranked 25th in the FCS, is coming off a 20-17 loss to ninth-ranked Richmond. The Raiders are led by running back James Holland who has rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on the season. 
 
Colgate leads the all-time series, 8-7. The Raiders won the last meeting, 38-15, at UB Stadium in 2003.

Big Play Offense
 
Over the first two games of the season, the Bulls have been able to strike on several big plays.
 
Against Minnesota, Tyree Jackson connected with Anthony Johnson on a 50-yard pass play. Jackson and Johnson hooked up on a 16-yard touchdown the very next play.
 
At Army, on just the fourth play of the game, Jackson completed a 52-yard pass to Johnson that set up a field goal. Jackson later ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run as well as completed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Nunn.
 
In total, the Bulls have produced 10 plays of 15 yards or more over the first two games of the season.

He Can Run Too
 
Against Army, Tyree Jackson ripped of a 75-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. It was not only the longest run of his career, it was the longest run by a UB quarterback in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999). The previous long run by a Buffalo quarterback was a 68-yard touchdown dash by Chazz Anderson at Tennessee in 2011. Prior to that, Cliff Scott had a 70-yard touchdown run against Duquesne in 1991.  

Hodge Ball
 
Khalil Hodge leads the nation in tackles, averaging 15.5 tackles per game.
 
He picked up where he left off last year in the season opener against Minnesota. The junior linebacker recorded a career-high 20 tackles against the Gophers. It was the most tackles in a game by a UB player since Davonte Shannon had 20 against Army in 2008.
 
Hodge was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4.
 
He followed up that performance with an 11-tackle game at Army.
 
Last season, Hodge had 123 tackles – the eight-most in school history for a single season. He ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 10.25 tackles per game. Hodge was an All-MAC Second Team selection in 2016.

What a Debut!
 
It was quite a debut for Anthony Johnson as the junior wide receiver, playing in his first game for the Bulls, had 11 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota in the season opener. Johnson's 11 catches were two shy of the single-game school record. He had eight catches for 115 yards in the first half alone. In the second quarter, Johnson had a 50-yard reception and followed with 16-yard touchdown reception on the very next play. Four of his 11 catches in the game went for more than 10 yards.
 
Johnson, who redshirted last season after transferring from Iowa Western Community College, and UB quarterback Tyree Jackson made an instant connection against the Gophers as 11 of Jackson's 22 completions in the game went to Johnson.
 
At Army, Johnson had three grabs for 82 yards, including a 52-yard reception on the fourth play of the game.

New Receivers Stepping Up
 
Buffalo graduated its top two wide receivers from a season ago and top three pass catchers overall - so a big question heading into 2017 was who was going to step up.
 
That question was quickly answered with the play of Anthony Johnson who had 11 catches for 140 yards at Minnesota. Johnson is the Bulls' top receiver with 14 receptions for 222 yards. 
 
Antonio Nunn, like Johnson, is in his first season with the Bulls after redshirting as a freshman last year. Nunn has three catches for 71 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown on the season.  
 
Senior Jacob Martinez, who missed most of last season with an injury, had four catches in the opener.

A History of Running Backs
 
With the graduation of All-MAC running back Jordan Johnson, the Bulls have a new starter in the backfield this season in Johnathan Hawkins. The junior ball carrier has big shoes to fill as the Bulls have featured 1,000-yard running backs in six of the last 10 seasons, including three of their last four. Prior to 2007, UB had only three 1,000-yard rushers in the history of the program.
    Year    Player    Yards
    2007    James Starks    1,103
    2008    James Starks    1,333
    2011    Branden Oliver    1,395
    2013    Branden Oliver    1,535
    2014    Anthone Taylor    1,403
    2016    Jordan Johnson    1,040
 
T3
 
Tyree Jackson enters the 2017 season as Buffalo's starting quarterback after a strong freshman campaign in which he started eight games. The sophomore signal-caller finished the season 165-for-311 for 1,772 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was the Bulls' second leading rusher, gaining 472 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He threw for 302 yards against Ohio and 306 yards against Ball State last season to become the first freshman quarterback in school history to throw for 300 yards in a game. 
 
Jackson has passed for 404 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards throw two games this season.
 
O'Hagan Named to Rimington Trophy Watch List
 
James O'Hagan was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List. The award is giving annually to the nation's top center. This is the second straight year UB's junior center has been named to the watch list.
 
O'Hagan is coming off the best season of his career. He started all 12 games of 2016 and was named All-MAC Third Team. O'Hagan has been the anchor of the Bulls' offensive over the past two season, starting all 24 games. 

Five Bulls Named to Athlon Preseason All-MAC Team
 
Five members of the University at Buffalo football team have been named to the Athlon Sports 2017 Preseason All-MAC team. James O'Hagan, Khalil Hodge were named to the second team, while Brandon Manosalvas, Chris Ford and Jarrett Franklin were named to the fourth team.
 
O'Hagan is coming off the best season of his career. He started all 12 games at center in 2016 and was named All-MAC Third Team. O'Hagan has been the anchor of the Bulls' offensive over the past two season, starting all 24 games.  
 
Hodge, a middle linebacker, is coming off a fine debut season with the Bulls – earning All-MAC second-team honors. In 2016, he led Buffalo with 123 tackles, the eighth most in school history for a single season and second most by a player in UB's FBS era. He posted double-digit tackles in seven games and his 10.3 tackles per game average ranked eighth nationally.
 
Manosalvas started all 12 games at guard last season. He has helped solidify the left side of the offensive line.
 
Ford has developed into one of the top nose tackles in the Mid-American Conference. The UB senior had 30 tackles, included three tackles for loss in 2016.
 
Franklin is coming off the best season of his career. The senior linebacker ranked third on the team in tackles with a career-best 75 in 2016. He had five or more tackles in eight games last year.

Strength at Linebacker
 
An area of strength for the defense again in 2017 is the linebacker corps. The Bulls return all three starting linebackers from a season ago who were also the team's top three leading tacklers.
 
Middle linebacker Khalil Hodge earned All-MAC Second Team honors last year after recording 123 tackles, including seven tackles for loss. It was the eighth best single-season tackle total in school history.
 
Ishmael Hargrove also amassed over 100 tackles, finishing with 103 on the year. The senior outside linebacker added three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on the season.
 
Senior Jarrett Franklin had 75 tackles in 2016 for the best season of his career.
 
Junior Jordan Collier will also be in the mix at outside linebacker after totalling 18 tackles, including two tackles for loss last year.

New Faces at Running Back
 
The graduation of All-MAC running back Jordan Johnson following the 2016 season means the Bulls will feature a new starting running back in 2017.
 
Junior Johnathan Hawkins has earned the job. Hawkins is the Bulls' top returning rusher and receiver from a season ago. He rushed for 338 yards and a touchdown and added 21 receptions for 119 yards and a score in 2017.
 
Sophomore Emmanuel Reed will see an extended role after appearing in three games and rushing for 33 yards last season.
 
Also adding depth at running will be Kameron Pickett and Theo Anderson - a pair of backs that redshirted last season as true freshmen.
  
Fake News
For the second straight season, the Bulls will play every game on artificial turf. Buffalo is one of 18 teams that will play all its games on artificial turf this season. Ohio State, Washington State, Kansas State, Wyoming, Utah State, Air Force, UNLV, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky, Charlotte, UT-San Antonio, Arkansas State, Idaho and Coastal Carolina will also play all of its games on turf.   
 
Bulls Add Grad Transfer from Cal
Defensive end Kennedy Emesibe has joined the team as a graduate transfer. Emesibe joined the Bulls after spending three seasons with the Cal Bears. Emesibe was a reserve defensive end for the Bears after a standout high school career in which he was ranked the 35th best defensive end in the nation his senior season.   
 
Team Captains Named
Five players were voted team captains for the 2017 season. Players voted senior wide receiver Jamarl Eiland, senior linebacker Jarrett Franklin, senior defensive end Demone Harris, junior linebacker Khalil Hodge and junior center James O'Hagan were voted captains for the upcoming season.
 
It's All Relative
The UB football team features a pair of players related to two of the top five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Junior wide receiver Anthony Johnson is the cousin of top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Junior linebacker Ledarius Mack is the younger brother of former UB All-American and fifth pick Khalil Mack.
 
On The Airwaves
Again this season, University at Buffalo football can be heard locally on ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station with one of the strongest signals in the nation. The Bulls can also be heard on 1280 AM in Rochester.  
 
Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 18th year, and 10th consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Scott Wilson will serve as analyst after previously serving as sideline reporter. Brad Riter also returns as game host. 
 
Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan.
 
Peck will host the UB Football Insider with Lance Leipold on Monday nights at 5:30 pm. The show air on ESPN 1520 and be broadcast live from the Santora's Transit Road location.
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