OXFORD, OH – The University at Buffalo football team fell to the Miami RedHawks, 24-14, at Yager Stadium on Saturday afternoon. After winning three straight games, it was the Bulls' third consecutive loss to drop them to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the MAC.
True freshman quarterback Kyle Vantrease made his first career start for the Bulls becoming the first true freshman to start for UB since Drew Willy in 2005. Miami did a nice job defensively making things difficult for the UB youngster.
Vantrease finished the game 17-of-41 for 202 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Miami (3-5, 2-2 MAC) scored on its first two possessions of the game, a field goal, followed by a 7-yard touchdown run to jump out to a 10-0 lead. However, the UB defense stiffened the remainder of the half, keeping the RedHawks off the scoreboard.
Vantrease threw his first career touchdown pass late in the second quarter when he found Anthony Johnson in the corner of the endzone on an 8-yard fade. The touchdown cut the Miami advantage to 10-7 with 5:23 left in the half.
A UB fumble on its opening possession of the second half proved costly as Miami capitalized with a 35-yard touchdown run on the first play of its drive to take a 17-7 lead just 57 seconds into the second half.
Miami would later score another touchdown late in the third quarter to take a 24-7 lead.
The Bulls rallied late and cut the lead to 24-14 on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Vantrease to Tyler Mabry with just under three minutes to play. It was Mabry's first career touchdown.
K.J. Osborn recovered a perfectly executed onside kick, giving the Bulls hope, down 10, with 2:52 left. However, the Bulls couldn't take advantage, turning the ball back over to the RedHawks, allowing them to run out the clock.
"We did not play very well. It was not very clean," head coach Lance Leipold said. "Things we strive to do well, unfortunately, today, we didn't do very well. Positively, we battled until the very end, but never really got into any type of rhythm offensively today."
Once again, Khalil Hodge led the Bulls' defense with double-digit tackles. The junior linebacker finished with 14 tackles to bring his season total to 115. Jarrett Franklin had five tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup for the Bulls.
Up next for the Bulls is another road game at Akron next Saturday.