KENT, OH – The University at Buffalo football team opened Mid-American Conference play with a 27-13 victory at Kent State on Saturday afternoon at Dix Stadium. It was the Bulls' third straight win to improve to 3-2 on the season.
Drew Anderson made his first career start under center for the Bulls and did a great job managing the offense. The junior quarterback finished the game 11-of-18 for 142 yards and a touchdown. He added 76 yards on the ground, including a 64-yard scamper in the third quarter.
Emmanuel Reed got the start at running back for the second straight week and for the third straight game eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards. The sophomore back finished with 144 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, all of which he scored in the first half.
Reed scored his first touchdown on an 18-yard run with 8:01 left in the first quarter to give the Bulls a 7-0 lead. One-play prior, Reed ripped off a career-long 55 yard run.
Reed struck again on the Bulls' next possession, scoring on a 1-yard run to extend the Buffalo lead to 14-0, early in the second quarter.
After Kent State scored on a 75-yard pass play, to cut the lead to 14-7, the Bulls punted the ball back to the Golden Flashes. The UB defense forced a Kent State punt on its next possession and true-freshman Kobe Green followed with the biggest play of his young career. Green blocked the Kent State punt, giving the Bulls a first down at the Kent State 8-yard line. Two plays later, Reed punched it in for his third TD of the game.
Kent State kicked a pair of field goals late in the half to cut the UB lead to 20-13 at the break.
The Golden Flashes took the opening kick of the second half and drove all the way down the Buffalo 1-yard line. However, on 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line, the Bulls defense stuffed the quarterback sneak attempt and took over on downs.
The Bulls capitalized and drove 99 yards on eight plays and Drew Anderson lofted a beautiful 5-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to Zac Lefebvre to extend the lead to 27-13. It was Lefebvre's first career touchdown catch.
The defense went to work from there, shutting out Kent State the rest of the way. Brandon Williams came up with his first interception of the season to ice the game.
Linebacker Jordan Collier had the best game of his career, finishing with nine tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss. Khalil Hodge had another double-digit tackle performance with 11 tackles and a sack.
"It was a tough game," head coach Lance Leipold said. "There were a lot of things we can build on from today. We can go win games on the road; we can build off a lead; get turnovers when we need them; create big plays on special teams. I've very proud of our guys and our staff."
Buffalo will return home next Saturday to host Western Michigan at 3:30 pm at UB Stadium.