Buffalo (4-1, 1-0 MAC) at Central Michigan (1-4, 0-1 MAC)
October 6, 2018
Kelly/Shorts Stadium - 12:00 pm
Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280
CBS Sports Network
• The Bulls are 4-1 for the first time since the 1996 season.
• This will be just the third trip to Mount Pleasant for Buffalo. The Bulls lost the previous two games at Kelly Shorts Stadium in 2008 and 2015.
• Central Michigan leads the all-time series, 7-1. The Bulls are in search of their first win over the Chippewas since 2004.
• The Bulls are the only team in the nation not to have allowed a sack this season.
• Buffalo looks to improve to 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play for the first time since 2013.
• Kevin Marks has scored a rushing touchdown in four straight games. He is the first freshman in UB's FBS era to do so.
• The Bulls are outscoring their opponents 61-10 in the first quarter of games this season.
• Tyree Jackson's 16 touchdown passes on the year already rank seventh in school history for a single season. He is two touchdown passes shy of moving into fourth in school history for a single season.
• Adam Mitcheson (230) is three points shy of passing Patrick Clarke (232) for second in school history in career scoring.
• The Bulls are looking to win three straight road games in the same season for the first time since the 2008 season.
Bulls Travel to Central Michigan as MAC Play Ramps Up
The University at Buffalo football team will travel to Central Michigan on Saturday for their first road conference game of the season. The Bulls are 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the MAC and are coming off a 42-13 loss to Army last Saturday. UB was led by senior linebacker Khalil Hodge who tied a career high with 20 tackles against the Black Knights.
Central Michigan is 1-4 overall, 0-1 in the MAC and is coming off a 31-20 loss at #24 Michigan State last Saturday. The Chippewas are led by linebacker Malik Fountain who has a team-best 62 tackles on the season.
Central Michigan leads the all-time series, 7-1. The Chippewas won the last meeting, 51-14, at Kelly Shorts Stadium in 2015.
Khalil Hodge tied a career-high with 20 tackles against Army last Saturday. It was the second time in his career he racked up 20 tackles in a game. He now has 67 tackles on the season which is tied for third in the nation.
Hodge has been in the national rankings since arriving on campus in 2016. He ranked eighth in the nation in tackles following the 2016 season and second in the nation in tackles after last season.
He recorded his 300th career tackle against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 15 to become the fastest player in school history to reach 300 tackles. He did it in 27 games. Davonte Shannon, the Bulls all-time leader in career tackles with 461, didn't reach 300 tackles until his 34th career came. He currently ranks sixth in school history with 344 career tackles in only 29 games.
Hodge was named the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week each of the last two weeks, following his 15-tackle performance in UB's win over Rutgers and his 20-tackle game against Army.
Os-born to Run
K.J. Osborn is enjoying the best start to a season in his career. He leads the Bulls with 23 catches for 410 yards and six touchdowns. He's tied for fifth in the nation in touchdown catches.
Osborn had one of the best games of his career against Eastern Michigan. The junior receiver had seven receptions for 188 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulls' 35-28 win. Two of Osborn's three touchdowns were 70+ yards (70, 75). He was rewarded by being named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week.
The Bulls have won both of their road games this season (Temple & Rutgers) and have won three straight road games dating back to last season. The Bulls have won five of their last seven road games. A win over Central Michigan would be UB's third straight road win of the season and would mark the first time since the 2008 season the Bulls have accomplished the feat.
Quarterback Tyree Jackson is off to a blistering start to the season, having already thrown 16 touchdowns, four more than he did all of last season. He already ranks seventh in school history for single-season passing touchdowns.
Jackson has really found his groove since the end of last season. Over the last nine games, he has thrown for 2,567 yards, (60 comp.%), 25 touchdowns to only five interceptions.
Jackson's 16 touchdown passes on the season is tied for third in the nation.
He was 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 is on the preseason watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Long Way Home
The Bulls have been using big plays to find the endzone this season. 11 of the Bulls' 24 touchdowns on the year have been at least 22 yards. The Bulls have scored touchdowns of 27, 32, 33, 22, 29, 70, 75, 42, 42, 53 and 53 yards over the first five games.
Bulls Make History in Piscataway
Buffalo defeated Rutgers, 42-13, on Sept. 22 at HighPoint.com Stadium for its first-ever win over a team from the Big Ten Conference. The Bulls were 0-7 against Big Ten opponents prior to Saturday's win. It was also UB's first win over an opponent from a Power 5 conference. Buffalo's win over Rutgers was one of the largest by a MAC school over a Big Ten opponent in conference history.
Largest point differential in MAC win over Big 10 Opponent:
31 points - Toledo 38-7 win over Minnesota (8/30/01)
31 points - NIU 55-24 win at Purdue on (9/28/13)
30 points - Miami 44-14 win at Northwestern (9/13/03)
29 points – Buffalo 42-13 win at Rutgers on (9/22/18)
Chuck Harris continues to develop into a monster edge rusher for the Bulls. Over the last eight games, Harris has eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Not bad for a young man who only started playing football his junior year of high school.
Harris' six sacks this season leads the MAC and has him tied for fifth in the nation.
Serve and Protect
The UB offensive line has done a tremendous job so far this season. The Bulls are the only team in the nation not to have allowed a sack this year. Buffalo has attempted 152 passes through five games this season.
The Kids Are Alright
While many will credit the Bulls' hot start to their seasoned veterans, you can't discredit the play of the youngsters. Nearly half of Buffalo's 25 touchdowns (12) on the season have been scored by freshmen.
Buffalo's top two leading rushers are freshmen. Redshirt-freshmen Kevin Marks leads the Bulls with 29 yards and six touchdowns. True freshman Jaret Patterson has rushed for 178 yards and three scores.
Redshirt-freshman Charlie Jones has nine catches for 219 yards (24.3 ypc) and is tied for second on the team with three touchdown receptions.
Off to a Good Start
The Bulls have outscored their opponents 61-10 in the first quarter of games this season. The Bulls have averaged 12.2 points in the first quarter this year.
Marks and Recreation
Kevin Marks had a breakout performance in the Bulls' win over Temple. 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.
Marks leads the Bulls in rushing with 299 yards and six touchdowns. He has scored a rushing touchdown in four straight games - the first freshman to do so in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999).
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, six different players have a touchdown catch on the year and four of the six have caught at least two TDs.
Senior cornerback Cameron Lewis had a career-best two interceptions in the Bulls' win over Temple. 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.
This season, Johnson has 18 catches for 308 yards and three 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.
Buffalo Players on NCFAA Watch Lists
Khalil Hodge - Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Nagurski Award
Anthony Johnson - Maxwell Award, Biletnikoff Award
Tyree Jackson - Davey O'Brien Award
Emmanuel Reed - Doak Walker Award
Tyler Mabry - John Mackey Award
James O'Hagan - Rimington Trophy
Kicker Adam Mitcheson is just four made field goals shy of the school record for career field goals made at UB. The senior kicker has made 40 field goals over his career. He is currently second all time, trailing A.J. Principe (2007-10) who made 44 field goals over his career.
Mitcheson is also on pace to break the school record for career scoring. The Pittsburgh native currently ranks third in career scoring with 230 points. Principe holds the school record with 265 career points.
This season, the Bulls will feature two season captains as well as two rotating game captains. Serving as season captains are senior center James O'Hagan and senior linebacker Khalil Hodge. Both O'Hagan, UB's fourth-year starting center, and Hodge, UB's third-year starting middle linebacker, also served as team captains last season.
Bulls Add Three Grad Transfers
Rushing came from Wisconsin where he played in 39 games and made one start. He recorded 18 receptions for 208 yards in his career.
White came from Notre Dame. He played in six games in 2016 and had a pair of tackles.
Derouen transferred to Buffalo from South Carolina. He appeared in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2016.
Rushing will have one year of eligibility, while White and Derouen will have two.
It's All Relative
The UB football team features a pair of players related to two of the top five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Senior wide receiver Anthony Johnson is the cousin of top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Junior defensive end Ledarius Mack is the younger brother of former UB All-American and fifth pick Khalil Mack.
10-Year Anniversary of MAC Championship
The 2018 season marks the 10-year anniversary of the Bulls' 2008 MAC Championship - UB's first and only football conference title. After a 7-5 regular season, the Bulls stunned 12th-ranked Ball State, 42-24, in the title game. Buffalo went on to play Connecticut in the International Bowl - its first-ever bowl game.
On The Airwaves
Again this season, University at Buffalo football can be heard locally on ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station with one of the strongest signals in the nation. The Bulls can also be heard on 1280 AM in Rochester.
Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 19th year, and 11th consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Scott Wilson is back for his second season as analyst. Brad Riter also returns as game host.
Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan.
Peck will host the UB Football Insider with Lance Leipold on Monday nights at 5:00 pm. The show air on ESPN 1520 and will be taped at the Santora's Millersport location.