Buffalo (2-0, 0-0 MAC) vs. Eastern Michigan (2-0, 0-0 MAC)
September 15, 2018
UB Stadium - 6:00 pm
Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280
• Eastern Michigan leads the all-time series, 6-1. The Bulls' lone win came at UB Stadium in 2013.
• Tyree Jackson's nine touchdown passes over the first two games are the most in school history to start a season. The junior quarterback is tied for second in the nation in passing touchdowns.
• The Bulls are one of only 12 teams in the nation not to have allowed a sack this season.
• Buffalo has forced seven turnovers over the first two games and committed only one to rank second in the nation in turnover margin.
• The Bulls have won five straight games dating back to last season. It is the fourth longest streak in the country.
• The Bulls have scored 84 points over the first two games of the season - the most over the first two games since the 1959 season when they scored 96 points.
• UB is 7-12 in Mid-American Conference openers since joining the league in 1999.
• Kicker Adam Mitcheson is four points shy of reaching James Starks for third in school history in career scoring. Mitcheson has 218 career points, while Starks had 222.
• Khalil Hodge is five tackles shy of 300 for his career, which would also be good for ninth in school history for career tackles.
Bulls Host Eastern Michigan in an Early Key MAC Contest
A 2-0 University at Buffalo football team will host a 2-0 Eastern Michigan team on Saturday at UB Stadium in an early Mid-American Conference matchup. The Bulls are coming off a 36-29 win at Temple last Saturday. UB was led by redshirt-freshman running back Kevin Marks who ran for a career-best 138 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
Eastern Michigan is 2-0 on the season and is coming off a 20-19 win at Purdue last Saturday. The Eagles are led by quarterback Tyler Wiegers who has thrown for 550 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
Eastern Michigan leads the all-time series, 6-1. The Eagles won the last meeting, 37-27, on Oct. 11, 2014 at Rynearson Stadium.
Jackson and Lewis Honored By MAC
The University at Buffalo football team received two of the three weekly awards from the Mid-American Conference following Saturday's win at Temple. For the second straight week, quarterback Tyree Jackson was named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week while Cameron Lewis was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
Jackson finished 26-of-45 for 275 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning score with less than a minute to play to lead Buffalo to a 36-29 win over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.
Lewis had four tackles and two key interceptions against the Owls. Lewis's first interception came in the endzone to thwart a Temple scoring threat. Later, with the Bulls trailing 14-12 in the third quarter, Lewis made his second interception at the Owls' 26-yard line. It led to a touchdown that put the Bulls ahead, 19-14.
The last time the Bulls swept MAC offensive and defensive player of the week honors was Oct. 28, 2013 when Branden Oliver and Khalil Mack were honored for big performances at Kent State.
Quarterback Tyree Jackson is off to a blistering start to the season and has been named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week in each of the first two weeks of the season. Former UB running back James Starks is the only other UB player to earn player of the week honors in consecutive weeks back in 2007.
Jackson has thrown nine touchdowns over the first two games of the season - the most by a UB quarterback to start a season. In the opener against Delaware State, Jackson threw a career-high six touchdown passes in just over two quarters of work. He became the first quarterback in school history to throw five first-half touchdowns. He was pulled after his sixth touchdown pass, on UB's first drive of the third quarter, put the Bulls ahead 41-3.
Jackson tossed three more touchdown passes in the Bulls' win over Temple. His nine touchdowns on the year are tied for second in the nation. Including his final three games of the 2017 campaign, the junior signal-caller has thrown 18 touchdowns over the last five games.
Jackson is on the preseason watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Forcing the Issue
The Bulls have struggled in recent years to force turnovers. That is not the case so far this year. Buffalo has forced seven turnovers (four fumbles and three interceptions). To put that in perspective, the Bulls only forced 14 turnovers last year and 13 in 2016. Last season, it took until their seventh game of the season (Northern Illinois) before the Bulls recovered an opponent's fumble. Buffalo forced four turnovers (3 FR/INT) against Delaware State in the opener.The last time UB forced four turnovers in a game was when it forced five at Florida Atlantic (3 FR/2 INT) on Sept. 19, 2015.
The Bulls rank second in the nation in turnover margin with a +6.
Marks and Recreation
Kevin Marks had a breakout performance in the Bulls' win over Temple last week. The redshirt-freshman running back rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the first significant game action of his career.
It was the best performance by a freshman or redshirt-freshman running back since freshman Devin Campbell rushed for 160 yards at Ohio on Oct. 6, 2012.
The UB offensive line has done a tremendous job so far this season. The Bulls are one of only 12 teams in the nation and the only team in the MAC not to have allowed a sack this year.
Hello Old Friend
While this will be the first time UB head coach Lance Leipold will face Eastern Michigan, it won't be the first time he will face Eagles' head coach Chris Creighton. The two faced off once before when they were both head coaches in the Division III ranks. Leipold's Wisconsin-Whitewater team defeated Creighton's Wabash team, 47-7, in the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Division III Playoffs. Leipold would go on to win his first of six National Championships with the Warhawks that season.
Sharing the Wealth
Tyree Jackson has done a good job distributing the football so far this season. 12 different players have a caught a pass already this year. 13 different players caught a pass all of last season. In addition, five different players have a touchdown catch on the year and four of the five had caught two TDs.
Senior cornerback Cameron Lewis had a career-best two interceptions in the Bulls' win over Temple last week. He became the first UB player to intercept two passes in a game since Okezie Alozie had two picks against Ohio in 2015. Lewis has four career interceptions.
AJ is OK
Not many players in school history made a bigger impact in their first season with the UB football program than wide receiver Anthony Johnson did in 2017.
The JUCO transfer had 76 catches for 1,356 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns last season. He ranked second in the nation in receiving yards per game (113.0) and third in receiving touchdowns (14). The All-MAC First Team selection had six games of 140 or more receiving yards which was tops in the country.
Johnson's 1,356 receiving yards were the second most in school history for a single season. He was second only to Naaman Roosevelt who had 1,402 yards in 2008. However, Johnson had 28 fewer catches than Roosevelt. Johnson averaged 17.8 yards per catch compared to 13.5 yards per catch for Roosevelt.
Johnson had 21 catches for 468 yards and eight touchdowns over the final three games of the 2017 season.
Johnson was named a second-team AP Preseason All-American, becoming the first player in school history to earn the distinction.
He leads the Bulls with 10 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulls placed a program-record six players on nine different NCFAA award preseason watch lists. Bulls appeared on more preseason watch lists than any other school in the Mid-American Conference. The previous high was four players on eight different watch lists prior to the 2013 campaign.