Relieved…That’s how Buffalo fans feel after the Bulls escaped with a 26-23 win over Stony Brook Saturday afternoon in the longest game in UB history.
Leading 10-0 in the fourth quarter, Buffalo saw their lead go away on a Lyle Negron five-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Eugene with 29 seconds remaining to force overtime.
Up until that point, the game consisted of poor offensive play by both teams as both defenses dominated during the early afternoon.
The Bulls led off the scoring with a Patrick Clarke 17-yard field goal in the first quarter to go ahead 3-0.
An Anthone Taylor one-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter extended the Bulls lead to 10 but Buffalo couldn’t put the Sea Wolves away.
After the game went into overtime, both teams traded great opportunities to put the game away as both Buffalo and Stony Brook couldn't convert when it mattered the most.
After going three and out in their first series of overtime, Nick Ferrara connected on a 37-yard field goal to give the Sea Wolves a 13-10 lead.
The Bulls responded with a clutch 43-yard field goal by Patrick Clarke to tie the game and force a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Joe Licata connected with Alex Neutz for a four-yard touchdown connection to put the Bulls up 20-13 but once again, Stony Brook responded.
The third and fourth overtimes were massive disappointments for the Bulls in completely opposite ways.
After getting an interception to start the 3rd overtime, Licata muffed a hand-off at the 16-yard line when all the Bulls needed was a field goal, giving Stony Brook another gasp of life.
In the fourth overtime, things got worse for Licata as he led off the period throwing an interception. With a chance to win the game, Nick Ferrara missed a 37-yard field goal as the contest went to a fifth overtime period.
Now officially the longest game in Bulls history, Buffalo finally put the game away, responding to a Stony Brook field goal with a six-yard Anthone Taylor touchdown run to win the game.
It was a much closer than anticipated contest for the Bulls but Quinn and his squad will gladly take the win.
Stony Brook out-gained Buffalo by nearly 100 yards, (440-349) but couldn't make the big plays to win the game.
Licata finished a pedestrian 27/48 for 193 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Filling in for Branden Oliver who tweaked his knee once again pregame, Anthone Thomas finished with a game-high 118 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
Alex Neutz had a game-high 10 receptions but for only 43 yards and a touchdown. Fred Lee had a solid day, pulling down seven receptions for 61 yards.
Stony Brook quarterback Lyle Negron finished passing for 300 yards in the losing effort while Iowa transfer Marcus Coker ran for 115 yards on 34 carries for the Sea Wolves.
Malcolm Eugene and Adrian Coxson proved to be a deadly combination for Stony Brook, combining for 16 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulls did not play their best football and were lucky to come out on top. Licata had an off day and the Bulls struggled to run the ball for large stretches of the game.
Taylor came up with the big run to give the Bulls the win but it was obvious that the Bulls miss star running back Branden Oliver.
Oliver is the heart and soul of the Bulls offense and Quinn needs his star back, back in the backfield.
The good news for Bulls fans is that a win is a win as Buffalo improves to 1-2 on the year.
The Bulls now enter their bye week before returning home to take on Connecticut in two weeks.