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Bulls Beat Miami 35 - 27

A game where the score does not indicate hwo well the Bulls played.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

On a beautiful day in Amherst, a paid attendance mark of 20,841, the Bulls could not ask for a better opponent to start the MAC portion of their schedule.  In comes a team with 20 straight loses but with some talent coming over from Notre Dame and a new head coach.  Buffalo and Miami trade two early touchdowns on the first possessions for both teams.  Buffalo stops Miami and Buffalo goes up 14 – 7 very early in the first quarter.   Sit down for my next statement because you may not believe it, the defense takes over.   Both offenses struggle to move the ball until late in the second half when Miami scores to tie the game at 14 going into half.

The Bulls totally dominated on both sides of the ball but have a tie score to show for their efforts.   Hendrix for Ohio in the first half was 4 – 14 for 78 yards.  Licata is 14 – 22 for 139 yards.  Taylor for Buffalo was the horse with 17 rushes for 100 yards with a long of 25 averaging 5.5 yards.

Then the second half starts and as this game was predicted the scoring stampede starts.  Miami takes the lead at 21 – 14 and things get tight in Amherst.  A great pass from Hendrix and Miami sees a lead.  The Bulls go back to the well and Taylor rushes for a 13 yard TD.  Taylor has shown great patience and allowing the offensive line who has been the better side of the ball to open some great holes.  The special teams drop the ball and Clarke missed the extra point.  The snap was good; it was just a miss to the right.

Taylor sets a career high with a third touchdown (his personal best was twice with two TD’s) and puts UB up 26 – 21.  Licata is picked off as the Bulls go for two.    Besides Taylor a key player is red shirt freshman Jacob Martinez out of South Port, Florida.  Licata looked at Martinez all game.  Here is a player who we saw glimpses of during this season who started the season with little to no fanfare.  Frazier for Miami and Martinez are the two best pass catchers on the field.   The Bulls again have been better on offense and defense but starting the fourth quarter only up 5.

This game is all about how great Taylor played.  22% of his career carries and 34% of his career yards have come against Miami.  Taylor runs 7.2 yards per carry against Miami all time 4.0 yards per carry against all other opponents combined. Taylor at the end of the 3rd quarter is 26/157 net 5.7 with a long of 25.

Much credit has to be given to the secondary.  Played strong and moving well and limiting Hendrix often.  After a couple of early miscues, Lester played great in the second half. Many WE’s were just not open.  The more impressive part is the Bulls virtually had not pass rush yet again.  Two players really hurt the Bulls in the air. Alex Welch a transfer from Notre Dame caught a great TD and dragged two DB’s 7 yards for a touchdown.  Welch also runs some great routes up the seams and Hendrix laid the ball in.  David Frazier also was tough to cover.  The Bulls with terrible pass interference call on a toss-up and kept Miami late in the fourth quarter down 8 in this game.  The defense stiffened and Miami had a man wide open in the back of the end zone on fourth down and Boise Ross who struggled early with a great pass break up.

The ball is in Licata’s hand with 4:19 and up 8.  Licata has been solid today.  Really see Joe taking what the defense gives him and not making mistakes.  What more could Licata want.  The line in front of Joe has provided Joe with time and a deep pocket for most of the night.  Miami on three straight plays cannot hit a pass. Miami is forced to punt from the 18 yard line late in the fourth with 2:56 left to go. The defense has again stepped up to the challenge.  Where UB had success with crossing routes and swing outs, all Miami really had was deep balls.  The DB’s played their best game of the year.   It was a tense fourth quarter.   Buffalo plays a very conservative fourth quarter until Licata hits Willoughby for a 16 yard connection.   Bulls fan would have loved to see Taylor score on his last run where he scampered for 20 yards down to the 4 yard line.     The Bulls run out the clock and the Bulls beat Ohio and a very tight game 35 – 27.  Taylor ends the evening with 36 rushes for 222 averaging 6.2 yards with three touch downs.  Long run for Taylor was 25 yards.  A very close game that Buffalo had to win.  The Bulls were greatly helped with the ankle injury to Scott of Miami.  Once Scott was out of the game, Miami could not move the ball on the ground.  The Bulls now need four more wins to be Bowl Eligible.