Buffalo plays close but fades late

For the first time since 2007 the Buffalo Bulls lost their opening game. Under the guidance of UB's new offensive coaching staff the Bulls had a spark that had been missing since the early weeks of 2010 but several key mistakes by UB helped the Panthers pull away late in the second half.

Pitt had their own share of mistakes, but most of those happened early in the game and were highlighted by two missed field goals early in the game.  Through most of the first half Buffalo's defense kept the Bulls in striking distance. Just two of the Panthers first half drives went longer than six plays, one resulted in a touchdown and the other a missed field goal.

On the opening drive of the second half Buffalo, trialing just 7-3, methodically drove down the field putting together a nine play, 59 yard drive, before an errant screen pass ended up in the hands of Chas Alecxih who took that ball back to the Buffalo 20. The panthers offense punched it in from there and UB would never be in a position to take the lead again.

But they would threaten. A surprisingly efficient UB offense traded scores with Pitt for a good deal of the second half. Pitt's new look high pace offense found its feet during the second half and the UB defense that held so well the first half could not keep pace.

The Really Good:

A 100 yard rusher, for the first time in recent memory. Branden Oliver put up14 yards on 35 carries. Not a spectacular day but his one touchdown is already as many as UB running backs managed during the entire 2010 season.

Alex Neutz is fearless on those slant routs. Great hands, takes a hit well, and runs great routes. He caught ten passes for 108 yards including some key third down work

Khalil Mack. In what is a surprise to nobody was amazing today. Five tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack, a forced and fumble. What was a bit surprising is just how good Lee Skinner looked. His nine tackles led al defenders.

Peter Fardon drilling a 40 yard field goal in an enemy stadium. There were kickoff issues with both coverage and with putting it out of bounds but Fardon field goal, along with some good punting.

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