BUFFALO, NY – Tyree Jackson tossed a career-high six touchdowns passes in just over two quarters of work to lead the University at Buffalo football team to a 48-10 win over Delaware State in the season opener at UB Stadium on Saturday night.
Jackson threw for 189 yards and six touchdowns before he was pulled early in the third quarter. The junior quarterback was responsible for the Bulls' first six touchdowns, finding four different receivers for scores.
"I think you saw a starting quarterback who came out and played with great confidence the whole first half," head coach Lance Leipold said. "He had an excellent day, playing the way we needed him to play."
Jackson's first touchdown pass was a nine-yard toss to newcomer George Rushing, who was playing in his first game with the Bulls after joining the program from Wisconsin. On the Bulls' next possession, Jackson found a familiar target in Anthony Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown to give the Bulls a 13-0 lead.
Devon Russell notched his first career interception on Delaware State's ensuing possession to set UB up in Hornets' territory. Buffalo capitalized when Jackson hit K.J. Osborn in stride for a 32-yard strike to extend the UB lead to 20-0 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
Rushing struck again early in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown catch from Jackson to give the Bulls a 27-0 lead. Osborn followed with his second touchdown grab of the night when he took a quick slant from Jackson and sprinted 19 yards to pay dirt.
Jackson's final touchdown pass was an 11-yard connection with redshirt-freshman Charlie Jones with 9:25 left in the third quarter. It was Jones' first career touchdown catch.
The Bulls' final score of the game came from freshman running back Jaret Patterson who ripped of a 16-yard with 5:21 left in the third quarter for his first career touchdown.
As well as the offense played, it was the play of the defense that put the team in a position to succeed. The Bulls forced four turnovers in the game, three of which were turned into touchdowns. After Russell's interception led to a touchdown, the Bulls quickly got the ball back when Ledarius Mack had a strip sack that was recovered by Chuck Harris. Later, Jordan Collier recovered a fumble that led to another touchdown.
With the Bulls able to quickly build a large lead, it afforded the coaching staff the opportunity to play a number of different players. In fact, 80 different players saw action in the game.
"We've been waiting for a game like this to be able to get a lot of people into," Leipold said. "That's what I really feel good about. A lot of young men got to play in their first college football game. They work awful hard and they do a lot of things for our program and to be able to get them into a game means a lot."
10 different players caught a pass on the night, led by Johnson who had four receptions for 57 yards and a score. Osborn had three catches for 54 yards and two TDs.
However, the night belonged to Jackson. The junior signal-caller became the first quarterback in school history to throw five first-half touchdowns and his six touchdown passes tied for the second in program history for a single game.
Next up for the Bulls is a road game at Temple next Saturday.