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Buffalo's offense sputters as the Bulls Fall to CMU

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The presumably brief Alex Wood era kicked off today with a tight 20-14 loss to to Central Michigan. The UB defense showed up this week but the offense, particularly the running game, was wholly ineffective against the Chippewas. Anthone Taylor who had piled up more than 650 yards in his last four games was held to 25 yards on 14 carries.

Lee Skinner had a career-high 16 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Adam Redden had 10 tackles, 3.5 for loss and two of the Bulls' season-high five sacks on the day. Witney Sherry had a career-high 15 tackles and an interception for the Bulls.

"Obviously it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, I thought our kids played hard tonight. They played with energy. They played with excitement. Unfortunately, they rendered us to be one dimensional offensively and when that happens, it's tough to win. We've got to fix that, obviously, and we will and get ready for our next ball game. We still have a great deal to play for." - Interim head coach Alex Wood

1st Downs 21 15
3rd down efficiency 6-14 5-13
4th down efficiency 3-4 1-3
Total Yards 341 271
Passing 231 233
Comp-Att 14-24 21-37
Yards per pass 9.6 6.3
Rushing 110 38
Rushing Attempts 49 22
Yards per rush 2.2 1.7
Penalties 8-49 3-40
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles lost 1 0
Interceptions thrown 1 2
Possession 36:25 23:35

Central Michigan seized control of the game early and jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of Saylor Lavallii touchdown runs.

Lavallii came in for Thomas Rawls who suffered an early knee injury which turned out to be season ending,

The Chippewas were driving deep into UB territory late in the first half looking to add to its lead, when senior safety Adam Redden came up with a play that changed the feel of the game. Redden came up with a strip sack of the Central Michigan quarterback and recovered the fumble himself.

Redden and the defense seemed to be more focused on stripping the ball. The turnover led to a 67 yard drive and Joe Licata found Ron Willoughby on a 28-yard touchdown pass to cut the CMU lead to 14-7 at the half. Buffalo had one more drive in the second quarter, getting to the ten yard line but time expired.

UB's momentum continued in the second half as Devin Campbell returned the opening kickoff Central Michigan 23-yard line. Three plays later, Malcolm Robinson made a phenomenal catch on a Licata pass in the end zone to tie the game at 14.

After that score UB's offense stalled and the game would stay knotted at 14 until Central Michigan mounted an a 98-yard touchdown drive that took nine and half minutes off the clock. The seven-yard touchdown pass gave the Chips the lead for good, 20-14, with 8:08 remaining in the game.