By the time the third quarter rolled around this was the Zips best chance to land some blows today.
Finally, after two years of struggle Buffalo has a comfortable win over a conference foe. Today's game against Akron was Coach Jeff Quinn's third career FBS victory with Buffalo. It was the first that did not come down to the last series of the game and that had everything to do with UB dominating in the trenches all game long.
In front of thirteen thousand fans Branden Oliver beat James Starks single game rushing record for Division one Buffalo football. Oliver has also given himself a realistic shot at the single season yardage record next week when Bowling Green comes to Amherst.
Thanks to an opening 93-yard kickoff return on the game's first play by Brandon Murie Oliver started his day with a one yard plunge for a touchdown. The Bulls defense would hold Akron for a quick punt, drive down the field and drove right back down the field and took a two score lead on Anderson's pass to Fred Lee.
Akron would scratch back. First with a field goal and then, after the Bulls muffed a punt, the Zips worked the ball down to the five yard line. Najja Johnson ended the Zips thread when he stepped in front of an Akron pass near his goal line and returned it 31 yards.
That was, for all intensive purposes, the end of the game. UB would score a touchdown and three field goals in the second quarter and head into the locker room up 30-3.
Oliver had the best day of his career
|vs Akron / 11.19.11||Rushing||Receiving|
Akron's front line was completely dismantled by the Bulls and Oliver did the rest. He looked quite a bit more shifty than he did early in the season and his yards per carry demonstrate that.
Fred Lee had his best ever game in the Blue and White. His six catches included two touchdowns and presented Buffalo with a second option for middle yardage plays.
The Biggest surprise was easily Patrick Clarke. Why was he not kicking sooner? I mean no disrespect to Fardon the guy is a phenomenal punter but why have a converted punter, who struggles with extra points, do all the work when you have Clarke on the sidelines?
Clarke drilled kicks of 26, 41, and 49 yards and made every extra point routine. Clarke was huge in building up that big half time lead. In past weeks that 30-3 lead could have easily been 21-3, or worse.
The Bulls defense had one of their best showing of the year, limiting Akron to 239 yards of total offense and 10 points, 7 of those were garbage time points. Khalil Mack racked up five solo tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and a blocked punt.
So what does all this mean.
Akron is bad, really bad. This win is less impressive than the Stony Brook win. The SeaWolves started their season 0-3 but finished with eight straight wins and a Big South Title. Akron beat VMI, and that's it, they are also in the middle of a series of beatings losing there last three games by a total of 121-16.
UB is a different team at home a win next week would give them a 4-2 home record. The focus of the next season needs to be getting the Bulls to play that well on the road.