by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
The most high-profile week in UB Sports didn’t end the way Bulls fans would have hoped. The men’s basketball team lost their first game, and the football team lost to Troy in the Dollar General Bowl.
Dollar General Bowl
Troy 42 UB 32
UB started off hot and dominated the first half statistically. The Bulls had a 17-14 lead on the strength of a Jaret Patterson TD run and a Kevin Marks one-yard score. The Bulls had almost one hundred yards more of offense and held the ball for seven more minutes in the first half. Things were looking good. The Trojans took the ball at the start of the third quarter and took the lead 21-17 on a 2-yard run by BJ Smith. The turning point in the game happened here. Troy succeeded on an on-side kick. The Bulls special teams were unprepared for the surprise move. Troy drove down and had the ball at the UB five. Tyrone Hill picked up a fumble forced by James Patterson and ran 93 yards for a Bulls touchdown. This gave UB the lead again 24-21. The problem was the Troy still got the ball back. Troy drove down and took the lead early in the fourth quarter. Tyree Jackson and the Bulls offense never took a snap in the third quarter. This changed the momentum of the whole game. Troy would score gain in the fourth to go up 35-24. Jackson hit KJ Osborn with seven minutes to play and hit Antonio Nunn with a 2-point conversion to cut the Troy lead to 35-32. The Bulls defense came up with a big stop to give the ball back to UB with four minutes to play. Tyree Jackson fumbled on the first play of the possession giving the ball back. Sidney Davis ran in from 20-yards out and the Trojans had their two score lead again. Jackson threw for 274 yards but had a pick and a fumble. The Bulls uncharacteristically fumbled six times in the game and lost three of them. Jaret Paterson and Anthony Johnson went over 1,000 yards on the year rushing and receiving respectively. The Bulls fall to 0-3 in bowl games with the loss.
The historic year for the Bulls ended with a bad taste in their mouth going 10-4. The last two losses to Northern Illinois and Troy were difficult ones they easily could of won. The ten wins were the most in program history. The Bulls also set marks in: most points scored, most yards gained and most touchdowns scored. In many ways it was a historic season for UB football. The Bulls will have two players drafted for sure next April. WR Anthony Johnson and LB Khalil Hodge. The major question is will QB Tyree Jackson forgo his senior season to turn pro. I believe he wouldn’t be drafted in the first two rounds so he should stay to work on his decision-making and accuracy. If he stays the Bulls should be the favorites to win the MAC next year.
Marquette 103 UB 85
The 14th ranked UB hoops team were handed their first loss of the year in Milwaukee vs the 20th ranked Golden Eagles. The Bulls started off hot and had an early 19-10 lead. The best thing was that Marquette’s star Markus Howard had two fouls and was limited in his playing time in the first half. The Bulls were unable to take advantage of the circumstances. Marquette fought back and took a 39-38 lead at the break. The Bulls were out rebounded 27-16 in the first half. The second half was the Markus Howard show. Howard scored 40 points in the second half. Howard hit eight 3-pointers in the second half. The Bulls had a 52-49 lead when Howard and Sam Hauser hit seven 3-pointers in a run that would see the Golden Eagles pull ahead 85-68. Jeremy Harris who had 22 points led UB. Dontay Carruthers added 20 and CJ Massinburg contributed 18. Marquette improved to 9-0 at home on the season. The Bulls had a wild week beating Syracuse in the dome on Tuesday. The Bulls finish their non-conference schedule at Canisius next Saturday. At 11-1 the Bulls still look good for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament even if they falter in the MAC championship game. This assumes that they like last year go 15-3 in conference play. UB’s next home game will be Tuesday January 8th when Toledo visits Alumni Arena.