GAME WEEK: Bulls Face Troy in Dollar General Bowl on Saturday

GAME WEEK: Bulls Face Troy in Dollar General Bowl on Saturday

               

Buffalo (10-3, 7-1 MAC) vs. Troy (9-3, 7-1 Sun Belt)
December
22, 2018
Ladd-Peebles
Stadium - 7:00 pm (EST)

Bulls on the Air

Radio
Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280

Television
ESPN

Storylines

• The Bulls are playing in their third bowl game in school history.

• Buffalo is looking to win its first bowl game. The Bulls lost to Connecticut, 38-20, in the 2009 International Bowl and lost to San Diego State, 49-24, in the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

• Buffalo's 10 wins are the most in school history for a single season. 

• Not only will this be Buffalo's first ever meeting with Troy, it will be the program's first matchup with any team from the Sun Belt Conference.

• This will be the second time in school history Buffalo will play a game in the state of Alabama. The Bulls played at Auburn in 2006.

Tyree Jackson is 143 yards shy of becoming just the second quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season (Drew Willy threw for 3,304 in 2008).

Anthony Johnson is 56 yards shy of 1,000 on the season. It would make him just the third player in school history to have two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a career.

Jaret Patterson is 54 yards shy of 1,000 on the season. Already, holding the UB freshman rushing record, Patterson would be the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Tyree Jackson's 27 touchdown passes are two shy of the single-season school record. Joe Licata holds the school record with 29 in 2014.

• The Bulls are the only team in the nation to have a freshman score a touchdown in every game this season.
 
Bulls Face Troy in Dollar General Bowl
The University at Buffalo football team will face off against Troy in the Dollar General Bowl on December 22. The Bulls are 10-3 on the season and are coming off a 30-29 loss to Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game. Wide receiver Anthony Johnson had 124 yards receiving and two touchdowns to lead the Bulls.      
 
Troy is 9-3 on the season and went 7-1 in Sun Belt play. The Trojans are led by running back B.J. Smith who has rushed for 1,093 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.
 
This will be the first meeting between the schools.

The Bulls are Bowling
When the Bulls take the field for the Dollar General Bowl, they will be playing in their third bowl game in school history. Buffalo also played in the 2009 International Bowl, a 38-20 loss to Connecticut, and the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, a 49-24 loss to San Diego State.
 
It is the second straight season the Bulls are bowl eligible after finishing 6-6 last year. However, the Bulls did not get a bowl invite.
The Bulls have won six or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 campaigns, when they won eight and six games, respectively.

Bringing Home the Hardware
Buffalo earned three major post-season awards from the Mid-American Conference, its most in school history for a single season.
 
Quarterback Tyree Jackson became the first player in school history to be named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
 
Running back Jaret Patterson was named MAC Freshman of the Year. He is the second player in school history to win the award, joining former running back Aaron Leeper who won the award in 2002.
 
Head Coach Lance Leipold was named MAC Coach of the Year. Turner Gill in 2007, was the only other UB football coach to earn the honor.
 
In addition, a school-record 10 players earned All-MAC honors, including six on the first team. Quarterback Tyree Jackson, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, center James O'Hagan, tight end Tyler Mabry, defensive end Chuck Harris and linebacker Khalil Hodge were all named to the first team.

Gold Rush
Through 13 games, the Bulls have already broken the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season. Buffalo has scored 34 rushing touchdowns on the year, shattering the previous record of 27 set back in 2008 (over 14 games). Jaret Patterson leads the team with 13 touchdowns, Kevin Marks has 12, Tyree Jackson has seven and Emmanuel Reed and Theo Anderson each have one.

Setting the Tone
The Bulls have scored touchdowns on their first or second possession in nine of 13 games this season. In addition, Buffalo has scored first-quarter points in all but one game this year (Toledo). The Bulls are averaging 10.5 points in the opening quarter of games and have outscored their opponents 137-58 in the first quarter this season.

Scoring Pace
The Bulls have put together their highest-scoring season in school history. Buffalo has scored 452 points, breaking the previous school record of 424 set in 2008 over 14 games. In addition, UB has scored a school-record 62 touchdowns on the year breaking the previous record of 55 also set in 2008.

Big Play Bulls
The Bulls have made a habit of creating big plays this season. In fact, UB has had a play of at least 44 yards in 10 of their last 11 games. They have had touchdown plays of 70+ yards in four different games.

Serve and Protect
The UB offensive line has done a tremendous job this season. The Bulls have only allowed 12 sacks on the year, easily a low for a single season as a FBS program. The previous low for a season was 16 in 2014 and 2015. Buffalo uncharacteristically allowed five sacks against Toledo and four against Northern Illinois. The Bulls have not allowed a sack in nine games this season.

Center of Attention
UB center James O'Hagan has started every game of his career and will make his 50th career start when the Bulls face Troy in the Dollar General Bowl. Only one other player in school history has started 50 career games. Former offensive lineman Pete Bittner started 50 games for the Bulls between 2007 and 2010.

Hodge Ball
Khalil Hodge has 139 tackles on the season, making him just the second player in school history to have three seasons of 100 tackles or more (Davonte Shannon, 2007-10, was the other). He is the first player in school history to post three straight seasons of 100+ tackles.
 
Currently ranked seventh in the nation in tackles, 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.
 
With 416 tackles, Hodge is just the fourth player in school history to register 400 tackles. He is the first player in school history to reach the landmark number in only three seasons. He currently ranks third in school history in career tackles.     
 
Hodge was named the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week three times this season. Former All-American Khalil Mack is the only other UB player to win MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors three times in the same season.

Using His Legs
Quarterback Tyree Jackson is using his legs more in recent games. Prior to UB's game at Central Michigan on Oct. 6, Jackson ran the ball three times for eight yards and no scores over the previous nine games. Over the last six games, the junior signal-caller has carried the ball 43 times for 99 yards and seven touchdowns. In Buffalo's win over Miami (OH), he became the first quarterback in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999) to score three rushing touchdowns in a single game. Cliff Scott was the last UB quarterback with three rushing touchdowns against Maine in 1993.

Not Standing Patt
Freshman running back Jaret Patterson has rushed for 946 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year. He is 54 yards shy of becoming the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He already holds the school record for rushing yards by a freshman in a season, breaking the previous record of 917 set by Aaron Leeper in 2002. In addition, Patterson's 13 rushing touchdowns are the most ever by a UB freshman and is three shy of the single season record held by James Starks (2008).
 
Patterson rushed for a career-high 187 yards and two touchdowns against Kent State. He did so in only the first half and on only 18 carries (10.4 ypc). It was the most rushing yards in a game by a freshman running back in school history.
   
Keeping it Clean
Buffalo leads the Mid-American Conference in both fewest penalties against and most opponent penalties. The Bulls only average 41 yards per game in penalties, which is also 11th in the nation. Conversely, opponents average 78.6 penalty yards per game which is also tops in the conference.

AJ = TD
Anthony Johnson has 25 touchdown catches over 24 career games. He is just the third player in school history with 20+ touchdowns in a career, joining Alex Neutz (2010-13) who had 31 and Naaman Roosevelt (2006-09) who had 28. Johnson reached the 20-touchdown plateau faster than any player in school history, doing so in just 20 games.     
 
Johnson had a record-breaking night in the Bulls' 51-42 win over Miami (OH). The senior receiver had eight catches for a school-record 238 yards against the RedHawks. He broke a 37-year-old record of 218 receiving yards set by Joe D'Amico against Cortland in 1981 when the Bulls were a Division III program.

T3
Quarterback Tyree Jackson is enjoying the best season of his career, having thrown 27 touchdowns, 15 more than he did all of last season. He is second in school history for single-season passing touchdowns, just two shy of the single-season mark.

He has thrown for 6,725 yards in his career, becoming just the fifth quarterback in school history to throw for 6,000 yards. He is 275 yards shy of becoming just the fourth quarterback in school history to throw for 7,000 career yards.
 
He was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week three times this season. He is the first player in school history to win the award three times in a single season.
 
Having thrown for 27 touchdowns and run for seven scores, Jackson's 34 total touchdowns are a school record, breaking Joe Licata's mark of 31 set in 2014.  
 
Jackson was on the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Record-Breaking Offense
Buffalo is on pace to break the single-season record for total offense. Heading into the Dollar General Bowl, the Bulls have totaled 5,427 yards on the season. UB is 88 yards shy of breaking the record of 5,514 yards of total offense set during the 2008 season.

Johnson and Hodge Earn All-Star Invites
Anthony Johnson and Khalil Hodge will have both earned invitations to prestigious college all-star games.
 
Johnson has been invited to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl. He will be just the second play in school history to play in the Senior Bowl, joining former defensive tackle Gerry Philbin who played in the 1964 contest.
 
Hodge has been invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Former wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt was the only other UB player to play in the game when he suited up in 2010.

Evan Almighty
Redshirt-freshman Evan Finegan has had a solid season in his first year as the Bulls starting punter. Finegan is averaging 41.8 yards per punt. The single-season school record for punt average is 41.6 set by Ben Woods in 2007.

Sack Lunch
The Bulls have done a great job getting to the quarterback this season. UB already has 34 sacks on the year, 15 more than all of last season. It is the most sacks since 2013 when UB had 38. The Bulls have been especially effective rushing the edge as defensive ends Chuck Harris (6.5), Taylor Riggins (5), Myles Nicholas (4) and Malcolm Koonce (3) lead the team in sacks.
 
The Bulls have registered at least one sack in every game this season.

Os-born to Run
K.J. Osborn is enjoying the best season of his career. He has 49 catches for 835 yards and six touchdowns. He has already surpassed his receiving yardage total from his first two seasons combined (598).
 
Midway through the season, he was added to the Biletnikoff Watch List - an award given to the nation's top receiver.
 
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.

Take Your Pick
The Bulls are second in the MAC with 14 interceptions, their most since having 15 in 2013. Buffalo had a season-best four picks at Central Michigan. It was the most in a game since picking off four passes against Ohio in 2015.
 
Eight different UB players have recorded an interception on the year. Cameron Lewis and Brandon Williams lead the way with three apiece. Aapri Washington and Tatum Slack each have has two picks. Joey Banks, Devon Russell, Jordan Collier and Khalil Hodge each have one.

Many Happy Returns
K.J. Osborn has been a game changer for the Bulls when it comes to punt returns. He has posted 25 returns for 257 yards - a 10.3 average. It is the most punt return yards by a UB player in its FBS era (since 1999).
 
Osborn ranks fourth in the MAC in punt  return average. He currently ranks second in school history in single season punt return yardage. Drew Haddad (1998) holds the school record with 410 return yards in 1998.

Lance Wins A Lot
UB's win over Miami (OH) on Oct. 30 was the 21st of head coach Lance Leipold's career at Buffalo. It gave him the most wins by a head coach in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999), surpassing Turner Gill and Jeff Quinn who both won 20 games. Over 45 games, Leipold became the second fastest coach to reach 21 wins in school history. Only Dick Offenhamer got there quicker, doing it in 34 games. Leipold currently holds a 23-25 record in his fourth season with the Bulls.

Long Way Home
The Bulls have been using big plays to find the endzone this season. Buffalo has recorded 19 touchdowns of at least 25 yards. The Bulls have scored touchdowns of 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 32, 33, 34, 37, 40, 42, 42, 53, 53, 64, 70, 70, 75 and 75 yards on the year.

The Kids Are Alright
While many will credit the Bulls' record to their seasoned veterans, you can't discredit the play of the youngsters. 28 of Buffalo's 62 touchdowns on the season have been scored by freshmen. The Bulls are the only team in the nation to have a freshman score a touchdown in every game this season.
 
Buffalo's top two leading rushers are freshmen. True freshman Jaret Patterson leads the Bulls with 946 yards and 13 touchdowns. Redshirt-freshmen Kevin Marks has rushed for 805 yards and 12 touchdowns.
 
Redshirt-freshman receiver Charlie Jones has 18 catches for 395 yards (21.9 ypc) and has three touchdown receptions.

Mitch Perfect
In Buffalo's win over Miami (OH), kicker Adam Mitcheson drilled a 37-yarder to break the school record for career made field goals. He supplanted A.J. Principe (2007-10) whose 44 field goals were the previous mark. He has since added to his record with 47 career field goals.
 
Mitcheson became the school's all-time leading scorer with his six extra points against Kent State. The Pittsburgh native currently has 278 points.

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.

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 on Mondays at noon.