BUFFALO, NY – Fans of Mid-American Conference football are familiar with the term MACtion. University at Buffalo football fans were introduced to the term first hand in an exciting 35-28 win over Eastern Michigan at UB Stadium on Saturday night. The Bulls beat a 2-0 Eastern Michigan team to improve to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 1983.
Quarterback Tyree Jackson had arguably the best game of his career, going 21-of-26 for 325 yard s and three touchdowns. His favorite target was K.J. Osborn who had seven receptions for 188 yards and three scores. Two of Osborn's three touchdowns were 70 yards or longer.
The Bulls jumped out to a 14-0 lead, scoring touchdowns on each of their first two drives. Following a 45-yard completion from Jackson the Anthony Johnson, Kevin Marks punched it in from 1-yard out to put the Bulls on the board. Osborn's first touchdown was an 8-yarder that extended the UB lead to 14-0.
The real fireworks started in the second quarter with three consecutive big plays by both teams. Eastern Michigan scored on a 76-yard touchdown pass to cut the UB lead to 14-7. The Bulls quickly responded on their first play of their ensuing possession when Jackson connected with a streaking Osborn for a 70-yard touchdown to extend the UB lead to 21-7. However, the Eagles answered right back with a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of their next possession to cut the UB lead to 21-14.
Marks scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, with 2:03 left in the second quarter, to extend the Bulls' lead to 28-14. Eastern Michigan scored on the final play of the first half to cut the UB lead to 28-21.
The signature play of the game came early in the third quarter when Jackson rolled to his right and hit Osborn in stride along the sideline. The junior receiver did the rest as he was able to outrace the defense for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Bulls a 35-21 lead.
"It's a pretty exciting group in there right now and I think they're proud of what they've been able to get done so far," head coach Lance Leipold said. "I don't know if it's looking at the 3-0 part or it's looking at 1-0 in the league which is a great start. I think they're just excited to get a win against a good football team and keep battling through this."
Osborn's 188 receiving yards were the fourth most in school history for a single game. It was Jackson's sixth career 300-yard passing game and his third highest single-game total in his career. It was the third straight game the junior signal-caller had 3+ touchdown passes in a game and he now has 12 touchdown passes on the season, matching his total from all of last season.
The Bulls' defense had eight tackles for loss and six sacks in the game. Leading the way was Chuck Harris. The senior defensive end, wearing number 41 in the game in honor of the late Solomon Jackson, finished with eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Khalil Hodge had a game-high 14 tackles for the Bulls.
The Bulls will take their 3-0 record to New Jersey next week to face Rutgers.