TOLEDO, OH – The University at Buffalo football team rallied to score 24 unanswered points and erase a 17-7 halftime deficit to defeat Toledo, 31-17, at the Glass Bowl on Saturday afternoon. It was Buffalo's first ever win at Toledo and improved the Bulls to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference.
It was a tale of two halves for the Bulls who struggled to get anything going in the first thirty minutes. UB uncharacteristically turned the ball over and allowed a number of sacks that helped lead to the 17-7 halftime deficit. However, after regrouping in the locker room, the Bulls came out and played like a totally different team in the second half.
The Bulls defense held Toledo, the MAC's highest-scoring offense, to zero points and just 65 yards of total offense in the second half. Buffalo's offense did the rest.
On their opening drive of the third quarter, the Bulls drove down the field and Adam Mitcheson drilled a 39-yard field goal to cut the Toledo lead to 17-10. Mitcheson's field goal was the 44th of his career, tying A.J. Principe for the school record for field goals.
A K.J. Osborn 20-yard punt return to the Toledo 32-yard line had the Bulls back in business and it only took them one play to cash in. Tyree Jackson connected with Anthony Johnson on a slant over the middle and the preseason All-American did the rest, eluding tacklers and darting to the endzone to tie the game at 17-17.
The Bulls came up with their second turnover of the second half when Brandon Williams intercepted a pass near midfield. Three plays later, Jaret Patterson raced into the endzone on a 6-yard touchdown run to give Buffalo its first lead of the game, 24-17, early in the fourth quarter.
Patterson wasn't done. The freshman running back scored on a 25-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left to ice the game for the Bulls.
"I'm so proud of this group for how they battled back," head coach Lance Leipold said. "There wasn't any panic at halftime. We had guys step up. When you see people step up, creating depth, you're creating confidence. Right now, all across the board, this team is playing with confidence."
Jackson shrugged off a shaky first half to throw for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson, who had been limited in previous games with an injury, looked healthy and had four catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulls' hung their hats on their defense for this win. Khalil Hodge led Buffalo with a game-high 13 tackles and added a tackle for loss. Freshman James Patterson had the best game of his young career with nine tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble that was recovered by Cameron Lewis.
The Bulls were without starting defensive end Chuck Harris and starting safety Joey Banks for the game. Myles Nicholas stepped up his play with six tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Taylor Riggins started in Harris' place and notched his third sack in the last two games.
It was the Bulls fifth straight road win, the most as an FBS program. Buffalo also swept its crossover opponents in the same season for the first time since joining the MAC.
Buffalo will return home to host Miami (OH) on Tuesday, October 30 at 8 pm at UB Stadium.